Cognitive-behavioural group therapy improves a psychophysiological marker of stress in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease

Cognitive-behavioural group therapy improves a psychophysiological marker of stress in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease

Author Aboulafia-Brakha, T. Google Scholar
Suchecki, D. Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Gouveia-Paulino, F. Google Scholar
Nitrini, R. Google Scholar
Ptak, R. Google Scholar
Institution Univ Hosp Geneva
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Pontificia Univ Catolica São Paulo
Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
Abstract Background: Family caregivers of patients with dementia frequently experience psychological stress, depression and disturbed psychophysiological activity, with increased levels of diurnal cortisol secretion.Objectives: To compare the effects of a cognitive-behavioural group therapy (CBT) to a psychoeducation group programme (EDUC) on cortisol secretion in caregivers of patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD).Method: Caregivers of AD outpatients were semi-randomly allocated to one of two intervention programmes (CBT or EDUC) consisting of eight weekly sessions. Twenty-six participants completed the study. Before and after intervention, salivary cortisol was collected at four different times of the day. Effects of the interventions were evaluated with self-report psychological scales and questionnaires related to functional abilities and neuropsychiatric symptoms of the AD relative.Results: Only in the CBT group did salivary cortisol levels significantly decrease after intervention, with a large effect size and high achieved power. Both groups reported a reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms of their AD relative after intervention.Conclusion: Psychoeducation for caregivers may contribute to a reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms of AD patients while CBT additionally attenuates psychophysiological responses to stressful situations in caregivers, by reducing diurnal cortisol levels. This may lead to a positive impact in the general health of the caregiver, eventually resulting in better care of the AD patient.
Keywords Alzheimer
cognitive-behavioural therapy
neuropsychiatric symptoms
Language English
Sponsor SNSF
Grant number SNSF: PMCDP1_151305
Date 2014-01-01
Published in Aging & Mental Health. Abingdon: Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd, v. 18, n. 6, p. 801-808, 2014.
ISSN 1360-7863 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd
Extent 801-808
Access rights Closed access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000338007500015

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