Background: Support groups have proved to be effective in reducing the burden on family caregivers of dementia patients. Nevertheless, little is known about the factors that influence utilisation or quality expectations of family caregivers. These questions are addressed in the following paper.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was carried out as an anonymous written survey of family caregivers of dementia patients in Germany. Qualitative and quantitative data from 404 caregivers were analysed using content analysis and binary logistic regression analysis.
Results: The only significant predictor for utilisation is assessing how helpful support groups are for the individual care situation. Family caregivers all agree that psycho-educative orientation is a priority requirement.
Conclusions: In order to increase the rate of utilisation, family caregivers must be convinced of the relevant advantages of using support groups. Support groups which offer an exchange of experiences, open discussion, information and advice meet the requirements of family caregivers.