Helping Dementia Caregivers Manage Medical Problems: Benefits of an Educational Resource.
BACKGROUND/RATIONALE: Family caregivers of people with dementia must attend to medical care needs of their relative, yet few available resources address comorbidities in dementia. Consequently, caregivers feel ill-equipped when medical concerns arise. In response, an educational resource-Alzheimer's Medical Advisor ( AlzMed)-was developed in 2 forms (website and book) and evaluated. METHODS: Family caregivers (143 website and 51 book) used an educational resource that provides information on medical problems, vital signs, pain, dehydration, and the healthcare system. Data were collected at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months regarding confidence in sign/symptom management, burden, depression, and anxiety. RESULTS: Caregivers reported significantly improved confidence and (for website users) decreased role strain. Anxiety and depression also decreased, although not significantly. Improved confidence related to a reduction in role strain and anxiety, and care recipients did not experience adverse events. CONCLUSION: An educational resource focusing on care of comorbid illness may benefit caregiver outcomes.
Zimmerman, S; Sloane, PD; Ward, K; Beeber, A; Reed, D; Lathren, C; Matchar, B; Gwyther, L
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