10/66 Dementia Research Group Alzheimer's Disease International

Caregiver Intervention RCT

An elderly couple in Xicheng, China. The husband, a retired doctor, has Alzheimer's Disease, and his wife is the sole carer

The 10/66 caregiver intervention was born from our wish to pilot packages of dementia care that might be feasible and generalisable in low and middle income countries' resource-limited health care systems. The principle we applied was 'use what there is'. For developing countries this comprises the family who, largely unsupported, shoulder the burden of care and support, and the community healthcare workers that are the foundation of the public healthcare system. We had already shown, in India, that community healthcare workers, because of their outreach activities, were aware of people with dementia and the problems they posed for family caregivers. A large body of research in the west has demonstrated that caregiver education, when coupled with training could improve caregiver outcomes, particularly psychological morbidity. Some studies have also suggested delayed institutionalisation and reduced mortality for people with dementia.

We set out to assess whether we could develop a caregiver intervention that was simple enough to be administered by community healthcare workers with limited training, and if so, whether such an intervention could improve outcomes for people with dementia and their family caregivers.

The intervention ('Helping carers to care') is being tested, formally, in randomised controlled trials in nine countries. In China, Peru, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico, participants are recruited from amongst those people identified as cases of dementia in the community survey. In Russia, Chile, Argentina and India participants are recruited from clinical contacts, independent of the 10/66 surveys.

The Intervention

[2 papers now published]

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