Taking Care of Myself group intervention (Ducharme)

Name of Intervention: Taking care of myself

Principal Investigator (s): Francine Ducharme

Intervention Description

1. Summary of Intervention

“Taking Care of myself is a psychoeducational group programme geared to: 1)cognitive appraisal of stressors; Empowerment through awareness by caregivers of their strengths and capacity to change their perception of stress and exercise control over their environment and 3) utilization of three coping strategies for dealing with stressful situations, namely problem solving, reframing and stress symptoms management.

The program consists of 10 90 minutes sessions for groups of 6 to 8 caregivers. It covers the following six themes:

  1. How to feel at ease with my relative;
  2. how to express my point of view to health care staff
  3. how to avoid Emotional torment
  4. how to deal with small daily losses and prepare myself for the ultimate loss of my relative
  5. how to identify and call upon my support network and community services;
  6. how to reorganize my life after My relative’s institutionalization and take care of myself.

    A participatory approach is used (discussions, written exercises, role playing) centred on actual concerns of Caregivers in order to foster transfer of the strategies learned.

The program has demonstrated significant effects on competence dealing with health care staff, on selected dimensions of a stress measure, i.e. perceived challenge of the caregiver role and perceived control, as well as on role overload, informal and formal support and on the use of the coping strategy of reframing.

This program is intended for caregivers of a relative with DEMENTIA living in a LONG-TERM Care setting

key search terms:

psychoeducational group, skill training, dementia, long term care, family support, empowerment

2. Intervention Materials

Description of materials used in the intervention:

Two workbooks are available: The Facilitator’s workbook (72 pages) and the Personal workbook (44 pages) for the participating caregivers. These workbooks are available in French and in English and provide the materials for conducting the group intervention.

Contact information for further information, materials, and training.

web site of the Desjardins research chair in Nursing care for seniors and their families at: www.chairedesjardins.umontreal.ca

3. Implementing the Intervention

Costs of implementing the intervention have not been evaluated. Requires a professional to lead the group during the 10 sessions and a room in long-term care centre. The program is led by a health professional (nurse, social worker, psychologist) who has expertise in the field of caregiving and dementia. Need good abilities in conducting group sessions and expertise in dementia and family caregiving.

4. For more information

A research article has been published to summarize the delayed and persistent effects of this program.

The reference is:

Ducharme, F., Lévesque, L., Giroux, F., Lachance, L. (2005). Follow up of an intervention program for caregivers of a relative with dementia living in a long term care setting: Are there any persistent and delayed effects? Aging and Mental Health, 9 (05), 461-469.

This investigator has another recently published intervention for family caregivers at home:

Ducharme, F., Lebel, P., Lachance, L., Trudeau, D. (2006). Implementation and effects of an individual stress management intervention for family caregivers of an elderly relative living at home : A mixed research design. Research in Nursing and Health, 29, (5), 427-441.