AlzU Blog

REACH II Study Evaluates Interventions to Support Alzheimer’s Caregivers-Part I

A recent publication released by The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute for Nursing Research, reports the results of a new clinical trial to evaluate interventions aimed at supporting caregivers.  The trial is called The Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Dementia Caregivers Health (REACH II).

Interventions offered by researchers included dementia education, specific caregiver skills, strategies for physical and emotional self-care for caregivers, and emotional burden training. 
The REACH Study was funded by the NIA and the National Institute for Nursing Research, to evaluate the outcome of strategies aimed at helping AD dementia caregivers manage the stress and emotional burden of caring for a loved one with dementia.

Federal agencies including the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Administration on Aging are incorporating the results of the findings from the REACH II trials into real-life interventions for AD caregivers. 

New research published in 2006 revealed that the REACH interventions significantly improved the quality of life for dementia caregivers.  This was the very first randomized controlled trial that evaluated the effectiveness of caregiver interventions offering several support strategies at one time to various culturally diverse study participants.  The study was conducted at five different U.S. locations including the University of Alabama, Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia), the University of Tennessee (Memphis), the University of Miami (Fla.) and Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.). Richard Schulz, Ph.D., at The University of Pittsburgh was the author of the study.

Dr. Patricia A. Grady, NINR director stated, “This important research demonstrates that the intervention can readily benefit the diverse communities of caretakers who provide care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease,” “It also underscores the substantial cost that caregivers face—financially, physically, spiritually and emotionally—and helps to illustrate why caregiving research is a priority for NINR and NIA.”

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