RELAXATION THERAPY FOR ALZHEIMERS CAREGIVERS

  • Lewis, Sharon (PI)

    Project: Research project

    Project Details

    Description

    DESCRIPTION: Caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders (ADRD) experience a great deal of stress which can adversely affect their emotional and physical well-being. Although the relationships between emotional and physical health have been proposed for a long time, recent developments in methodological techniques have now allowed empirical testing of these theories. Relaxation therapy (RT) is a technique which nurses can use to help decrease the negative effects of stress. RT is a behavioral intervention that can reduce stress, promote relaxation, increase quality of life, and enhance immunocompetence. In this study the effect of RT on the relaxation response, quality of life, and immunocompetence in caregivers of ADRD patients will be examined. Caregivers of ADRD patients will be solicited to participate in a relaxation therapy intervention. Following baseline testing, subjects will be randomized into 2 groups. Group 1 will immediately start RT and group 2 will be a wait-list control group. Subjects will be studied at baseline and at the end of 4 and 8 weeks of RT. Follow-up testing will be done 2 months post-intervention. Group 2 will crossover to begin the RT intervention after 2 months as the wait-list control group. The effectiveness of RT will be evaluated by assessing the relaxation response, quality of life, and immune response. The degree of relaxation will be determined using bioinstrumentation to measure muscle tension, electrodermal response, skin temperature, blood volume pulse, and depth and rate of breathing. Quality of life will be determined using questionnaires that assess physical mental social and emotional health. Personal resources mediating stress that will be investigated include sense of coherence, coping resources, and social support. Assessment of immunocompetence will focus on measuring the cell-mediated immune response, particularly natural killer cell number and function. Important nursing interventions include assisting caregivers to adapt to their situation and to achieve their highest possible level of wellness. If RT elicits a relaxed state, improves quality of life, and enhances immunocompetence in these caregivers, the findings could have important clinical significance for providing a model for a cost effective health promotion program for caregivers of ADRD patients.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date1/15/971/31/10

    Funding

    • National Institutes of Health: $434,787.00
    • National Institutes of Health: $434,066.00
    • National Institutes of Health
    • National Institutes of Health: $340,318.00
    • National Institutes of Health: $335,461.00
    • National Institutes of Health: $429,716.00
    • National Institutes of Health: $18,850.00
    • National Institutes of Health
    • National Institutes of Health: $307,648.00
    • National Institutes of Health: $366,742.00
    • National Institutes of Health: $478,627.00
    • National Institutes of Health: $100,000.00

    ASJC

    • Medicine(all)
    • Nursing(all)

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