May 03, 2019
By Jane Brown
As Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia continue to rise, over 90 per cent of patients will be cared for by friends or family.
It is well known that high rates of psychological and physical pressure plague caregivers of dementia patients, which in turn negatively impacts these patients.
Prior caregiver interventions have focused on reducing negative emotion and stress, but positive emotions independently result in better mental and physical health.
To assess whether depression and anxiety levels can be decreased in dementia caregivers, researchers did a six-week positive emotion online intervention and assessed before and after outcomes.
The online program taught eight emotion regulation skills to increase positivity and included mindfulness and acts of kindness.
Results showed decreased anxiety, depression, and improved physical health with the intervention.
These findings show the potential of online programs in improving caregiver well-being.
The study is published in the journal Health Psychology.