Impact of a Community Based Implementation of Reach II Program for Caregivers of Alzheimer's Patients
Singh, Karan P.
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Background: In 2009 an estimated 5.3 million people in the United States were afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, a degenerative form of dementia. The impact of this disease is not limited to the patient but also has significant impact on the lives and health of their family caregivers. The Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH II) program was developed and tested in clinical studies. The REACH II program is now being delivered by community agencies in several locations. This study examines the impact of the REACH II program on caregiver lives and health in a city in north Texas. Study design: Family caregivers of Alzheimer's patients were assessed using an instrument covering the multi-item domains of Caregiver Burden, Depression, Self-Care, and Social Support upon enrollment in the program and at the completion of the 6 month intervention. The domain scores were analyzed using a multivariate paired t-test and Bonferroni confidence interval for the differences in pre- and post-service domain scores. Results: A total of 494 families were enrolled in the program during the period January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Of these families 177 completed the 6 month program and have pre - and post service domain scores. The median age for the caregivers was 62 years. The domain scores for Depression and Caregiver Burden demonstrated statistically significant improvements upon program completion. Conclusion: The REACH II intervention was successfully implemented by a community agency with comparable impacts to those of the clinical trial warranting wider scale implementation.