Journal Article

The Effectiveness of a Culturally Sensitive Cognitive Behavioral Group Intervention for Latino Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Judith G. Gonyea, Luz M. López and Esther H. Velásquez

in The Gerontologist

Volume 56, issue 2, pages 292-302
Published in print April 2016 | ISSN: 0016-9013
Published online May 2014 | e-ISSN: 1758-5341 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnu045
The Effectiveness of a Culturally Sensitive Cognitive Behavioral Group Intervention for Latino Alzheimer’s Caregivers

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  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Care of the Elderly
  • Gerontology and Ageing

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Purpose of the Study:

Demographic projections suggest that the older Latino population will experience the fastest growth among all racial/ethnic groups; and by 2050 will constitute 20% of the nation’s seniors. Yet, Latino Alzheimer’s elders and their families remain underrepresented in the health care system and caregiver intervention studies. To address this gap, this study tested the effectiveness of Circulo de Cuidado, a culturally-sensitive, cognitive behavioral (CBT) group intervention, in supporting Latino families’ ability to manage the disease’s neuropsychiatric symptoms and improve caregiver well-being.

Design and Methods:

Using a randomized controlled trial design, 67 caregivers were assigned to the CBT experimental condition or the psychoeducational (PED) control condition and interviewed at baseline, post-group, and 3 months follow-up. The 2 manualized interventions had the same structure: 5 weekly 90-minute group sessions, followed by telephone coaching at 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks post-group.

Results:

Repeated measures analysis of covariance revealed significant group by time interaction effects. Compared with the PED participants, CBT participants reported lower neuropsychiatric symptoms in their relative, less caregiver distress about neuropsychiatric symptoms, a greater sense of caregiver self-efficacy, and less depressive symptoms over time.

Implications:

Our findings offer preliminary evidence that a culturally tailored, CBT group intervention targeted toward neuropsychiatric symptom management has positive psychological benefits for Latino caregivers.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Caregiver stress; Intervention; Latino/a; Psychosocial; Caregiving—informal; Cultural competence practice

Journal Article.  7953 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Biological Sciences ; Psychology ; Care of the Elderly ; Gerontology and Ageing

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