Program Helps Improve Communication Among Couples Affected by Dementia

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Communication in spouses affected by dementia may be improved with an at-home relationship-focused psychoeducational intervention.
Communication in spouses affected by dementia may be improved with an at-home relationship-focused psychoeducational intervention.

HealthDay News — An at-home dyadic, relationship-focused psychoeducational intervention improves communication outcomes among spouses affected by dementia, according to a small study the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Christine L. Williams, DNSc, from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and colleagues examined the feasibility and outcomes of CARE: Caring About Relationships and Emotions, a 10-week, home-based intervention to support 15 married couples affected by dementia. Communications were rated using the Verbal/Nonverbal Interaction Scale for caregivers and care receivers.

The researchers found that the ratio of social to unsocial communication showed a significant improvement across sessions (P =.039), when accounting for mental status of care recipients. There was a significant decrease in in the number of disabling communications among spouse caregiver communication (P =.024).

"At home dyadic, relationship-focused psychoeducational intervention to improve communication in spouses affected by dementia has the potential to improve communication outcomes," the authors write. "Creative ways of working with couples are needed to help them sustain their relationships and maintain their health."

Reference

Williams CL, Newman D, Hammer LM. Preliminary study of a communication intervention for family caregivers and spouses with dementia. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2018;33(2):e343-e349. 



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