Family Caregivers of Dementia Patients May Benefit from Learning Positive Emotion Skills, Study Suggests

Family Caregivers of Dementia Patients May Benefit from Learning Positive Emotion Skills, Study Suggests
An online program that teaches how to focus on positive emotions can help caregivers of family members with dementia to cope better with stress, and reduce their depression and anxiety symptoms, results from a clinical study suggest. The six-week skill-building intervention, called Life Enhancing Activities for Family Caregivers (LEAF), does not require a licensed therapist, and it can be made easily accessible and affordable to a wide population of caregivers. The researchers who have been developing this new support program are planning to further explore LEAF's potential by comparing its version, which was found to be the most effective in the study, to a self-guided online version. Latest results from the ongoing trial (NCT01825681) were reported in a study, "Randomized controlled trial of a facilitated online positive emotion regulation intervention for dementia caregivers," published in the journal Health Psychology. Caring for a family member with dementia poses a significant emotional and physical burden that increases the caregiver's risk for mental problems such as depression and anxiety. Therefore, strategies are needed to provide timely support to this population in order to prevent such health-related problems. "Nationally we are having a huge increase in informal caregivers," said Judith Moskowitz, PhD, professor at the <
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