Regular Research Article| Volume 21, ISSUE 11, P1071-1081, November 2013

A Videophone Psychosocial Intervention for Dementia Caregivers


      Available services and intervention programs for dementia caregivers are often underutilized because of issues such as cost, logistics, lack of knowledge about available services, or insufficient support from others. Information technologies offer the potential of removing these barriers and facilitating the ability of caregivers to access needed support. This project evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of technology-based psychosocial intervention among minority family caregivers of dementia patients.


      A feasibility and efficacy trial.


      Participants' homes in the Greater Miami Community.


      One hundred ten (56 Hispanic American and 54 African American) caregivers of patients with dementia.


      A technology-based multi-component psychosocial intervention was delivered in-home and via videophone technology over 5 months. The intervention was modeled after the REACH II intervention and targeted known areas of caregiver risk.


      Standardized measures of depression, caregiver burden, social support, and the caregivers' perception of the caregiver's experience were administered at baseline and 5 months post-randomization.


      Overall, caregivers who received the intervention reported a decrease in burden, an increase in perceived social support and positive perceptions of the caregiving experience. No effect was observed for depression. Most participants indicated that the intervention improved their caregiving skills and found the technology to be easy to use.


      A technology-based format was feasible for delivering a multi-component intervention to minority family dementia caregivers. The intervention improved caregiver outcomes for both Hispanic and African American caregivers. The results suggest that technology may help eliminate disparities in access to caregiver intervention programs.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


      1. Alzheimer's Association: Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures. (online). Available at: Accessed November 18, 2012

        • Pinquart M.
        • Sörensen S.
        Differences between caregivers and noncaregivers in psychological health and physical health: a meta-analysis.
        Psychol Aging. 2003; 18: 250-267
        • Pinquart M.
        • Sörensen S.
        Associations of stressors and uplifts of caregiving with caregiver burden and depressive mood: a meta-analysis.
        J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2003; 58: 112-128
        • Pinquart M.
        • Sörensen S.
        Correlates of physical health of informal caregivers: a meta-analysis.
        J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2007; 62: 126-137
        • Schulz R.
        • O'Brien A.T.
        • Bookwala J.
        • et al.
        Psychiatric and physical morbidity effects of dementia caregiving: prevalence, correlates, and causes.
        Gerontologist. 1995; 35: 771-791
        • Vitaliano P.P.
        • Zhang J.
        • Scanlan J.M.
        Is caregiving hazardous to one's physical health? A meta-analysis.
        Psychol Bull. 2003; 29: 946-947
        • Belle S.H.
        • Burgio L.
        • Burns R.
        • et al.
        Enhancing the quality of life of dementia caregivers from different ethnic or racial groups: a randomized, controlled trial.
        Ann Intern Med. 2006; 145: 727-738
        • Nichols L.O.
        • Martindale-Adams J.
        • Burns R.
        • et al.
        Translation of a dementia caregiver support program in a health care system—REACH VA.
        Arch Intern Med. 2011; 171: 353-359
        • Czaja S.J.
        • Rubert M.P.
        Telecommunications technology as an aid to family caregivers of persons with dementia.
        Psychosom Med. 2002; 64: 469-476
        • Eisdorfer C.
        • Czaja S.J.
        • Loewesntein D.A.
        • et al.
        The effect of a family therapy and technology-based intervention on caregiver depression.
        Gerontologist. 2003; 43: 521-531
        • Demiris G.
        • Parker Oliver D.R.
        • Hensel B.
        • et al.
        Use of videophone for distant caregiving: an enriching experience for families and residents in long-term care.
        J Gerontol Nurs. 2008; 34: 50-55
        • Lewis M.L.
        • Hobday J.V.
        • Hopburn K.W.
        Internet-based program for dementia caregivers.
        Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2010; 25: 674-679
      2. Family Alliance for Caregiving and AARP: Caregiving in the US: A focused look at those caring for someone age 50 or older. (online). Available at: Accessed November 4, 2012

      3. Fox S: Peer-to-peer healthcare. (online). Available at: Accessed October 30, 2012

      4. Fox S: Health topics. (online). Available at: Accessed November 4, 2012

        • Folstein M.F.
        • Folstein S.E.
        • McHugh P.R.
        Mini-mental state: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician.
        J Psychiatr Res. 1975; 12: 189-198
        • Katz S.
        • Ford A.B.
        • Moskowitz R.W.
        • et al.
        Studies of illness in the aged. The Index of ADL: a standardized measure of biological and psychosocial function.
        JAMA. 1963; 185: 914-919
        • Lawton M.P.
        • Brody E.
        Assessment of older people: self-maintaining and instrumental activities of daily living.
        Gerontologist. 1969; 9: 179-186
        • Czaja S.J.
        • Gitlin L.N.
        • Schulz R.
        • et al.
        Development of the risk appraisal measure: a brief screen to identify risk areas and guide interventions for dementia caregivers.
        JAGS. 2009; 57: 1064-1072
        • Andresen E.M.
        • Mamgren E.M.
        • Carter W.B.
        • et al.
        Screening for depression in well older adults: evaluation of the short form of the CES-D.
        Am J Prev Med. 1994; 10: 77-84
        • Teri L.
        • Truax P.
        • Logsdon R.
        • et al.
        Assessment of behavioral problems in dementia: the revised memory and behavior problems checklist.
        Psychol Aging. 1995; 7: 622-631
        • Roth D.R.
        • Burgio L.D.
        • Gitlin L.N.
        • et al.
        Psychometric analysis of the revised memory and behavior problems checklist: factor structure of occurrence and reaction ratings.
        Psychol Aging. 2003; 18: 906-915
        • Tarlow B.J.
        • Wisniewski S.R.
        • Belle S.H.
        • et al.
        Positive aspects of caregiving: contributions of the REACH project to the development of new measures for Alzheimer's caregiving.
        Res Aging. 2004; 26: 429-453
        • Barrera M.
        • Sandler I.
        • Ramsay T.
        Preliminary development of a scale of social support: studies on college students.
        Am J Community Psychol. 1981; 9: 435-441
        • Krause N.
        Negative interaction and satisfaction with social support among older adults.
        J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1995; 50: 59-73
        • Krause N.
        • Markides K.
        Measuring social support among older adults.
        Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1990; 30: 37-53
        • Sorensen S.
        • Pinquart M.
        • Duberstein P.
        How effective are interventions with caregivers? An updated meta-analysis.
        Gerontologist. 2002; 42: 356-372
        • Brodaty H.
        • Green A.
        • Koschera A.
        Meta-analysis of psychosocial interventions for caregivers of people with dementia.
        J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003; 51: 657-664
        • Lee C.C.
        • Czaja S.J.
        • Schulz R.
        The moderating influence of demographic characteristics, social support, and religious coping on the effectiveness of a multicomponent psychosocial caregiver intervention in three racial ethnic groups.
        J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2010; 65B: 185-194