Occupational therapy for caregivers of people with dementia: a review of the United Kingdom literature

  • Hall L
  • Shelton D
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Introduction: Caring for a family member with dementia is associated with a wide range of challenges. The national strategy for caregivers highlights the growing need for health professionals to provide support to caregivers of people with dementia. This review aimed to identify the evidence and current role of occupational therapists in supporting caregivers of people with dementia in the community. Method: All relevant research databases were systematically searched to identify relevant United Kingdom articles. The inclusion criteria included: dated 1999-2010, English language, community based and considered impact of intervention on carer. Findings: Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria. The identified interventions were delivered by a range of different professionals with a variety of outcome measures. Overall, the methodological quality of the included studies was poor, with only a small number providing evidence of improvement in outcomes as a result of interventions, such as reminiscence and cognitive behavioural therapy. Conclusion: A requirement for more robust research into the impact of interventions on caregivers of people with dementia was identified. There is a dearth of research into the current role of occupational therapists working with these caregivers and a lack of research to support the expansion of this role.

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  • Laura Hall

  • Dawn A Shelton

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