Health education groups for caregivers (Toseland)

Name of Intervention: Health Education Program (also called the Telephone Education Program)

Principal Investigator (s): Ronald W. Toseland, Ph.D

Institutional Affiliation: Institute of Gerontology, School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, State University of New York at Albany, Albany, New York, 12222.

1. Summary of Intervention

The Health Education Program is focused of caregivers of chronically ill older adults. It has four components (1) education about caregiving, (2) skills training, (3) problem solving, and (4) support. It is delivered in 8, 1 /12 to 2 hour weekly group meetings, often followed by 10 monthly meetings. It can be delivered by a social worker, nurse psychologist or someone from an allied discipline. The program is manualized and has several variations. It has been used in face-to-face groups, and also over the telephone, by shortening each session, and lengthening the number of sessions. It has also been used transformed into a face-to-face and a telephone group program exclusively for caregivers of persons with dementia.

Key search terms:

Caregiving, chronic illness, dementia, support group, skills training

The program has been tested in several funded randomized trials and found to be effective as a face-to-face group program. It has also been tested in several randomized trials in the telephone version and found to be effective for adult children caregivers but less effective for spouses.

2. Intervention Materials

There is a manual with handouts for both the face-to- face and the telephone version. There are manuals for the leader as well as for the workshop (caregiver) participant.

The manual can be obtained by contacting Pam Laverty, , 518-443-5346. Some of the handouts that accompany the original manual are not only available through the mail (non-electronic). There is also a link to the telephone manual at:

3. Implementing the Intervention

A training program can be offered by Ronald Toseland, Ph.D. at the address listed previously.

The costs of implementing the intervention vary by whether it is done in person or on the telephone, the extensiveness of the training needed by the interventionist, and the costs associated with the salary of the interventionist and the meeting room.

No limitations on implementation of the face-to-face program. The telephone version needs specialized equipment to link participants.

4. For more information

Toseland, R., Rossiter, C., & Labrecque, M. (1989a). The effectiveness of three group intervention strategies to support caregivers. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 59(3), 420-429.

Toseland, R., Rossiter, C., & Labrecque, M. (1989b). The effectiveness of peer-led and professionally-led groups to support family caregivers. The Gerontologist, 29(4), 465-471.

Toseland, R., Rossiter, C., & Labrecque, M. (1989c). The effectiveness of two kinds of support groups for caregivers. Social Service Review, 63(3), 415-432.

Toseland, R., McCallion, P., Smith, T., Huck, S., Bourgeois, P., & Garstka, T. (2001). Health education groups for caregivers in an HMO. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57(4), 551-570.

Toseland, R., McCallion, P., Smith, T., & Banks, S. (2004). Supporting caregivers of frail older adults in an HMO setting. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 74(3), 349-364.

Toseland, R., Smith, T. (2006). The impact of a caregiver health education program on health care costs. Research on Social Work Practice, 16(1), 9-19.

Smith, T., & Toseland, R. (2006). The evaluation of a telephone caregiver support group intervention. The Gerontologist, 46(5), 620-630.

Other citations upon request.