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Interventions to support people with dementia and their caregivers during the transition from home care to nursing home care: A systematic review

Background During the transition of people with dementia from home to nursing home family caregivers often feel burdened. ObjectivesWe aimed to 1) identify interventions which support people with dementia and their caregivers in the transition from home care to nursing home care, 2) synthesize the evidence for efficacy of these interventions, and 3) examine whether the identified interventions have been systematically developed, evaluated and implemented according to the Medical Research Council guidance on complex interventions. Design A systematic review of randomised controlled trials was conducted according to the recommendations specified in the Cochrane Handbook for Intervention Reviews. The review protocol was registered in PROSPERO (2015: CRD42015019839). Reporting follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: the PRISMA statement. Data sourcesMEDLINE, CENTRAL, PsycINFO, CINAHL, OTseeker, and PEDro, were searched. Other sources included Google Scholar, and ALOIS. Review methodsTwo reviewers independently assessed the eligibility of the articles. Data extraction was performed by one reviewer and verified independently by another. The Cochrane Risk of Bias tool was used for critical appraisal. Development and evaluation of the identified interventions were assessed, taking the Medical Research Council guidance into account. Review findings were synthesized narratively. Results The search yielded 1278 records. Five studies were included, all conducted in the United States (4 RCTs and 1 cRCT with a total of 695 participants). The psychosocial interventions were individual and family counseling via telephone or ad hoc all of which addressed only informal caregivers. The intervention components, content and mode of delivery differed widely with inconsistent results. Significant intervention effects were found for the reduction of caregivers’ depressive symptoms, burden, feeling of guilt, emotional distress, overload, and interactions with staff. Other outcomes, i.e. stress, placement adaptation, role overload, and role captivity, were not statistically significantly affected. The assessment for bias risk across studies varied from moderate to low. Only two studies tested the feasibility of the intervention before full scale evaluation, none evaluated the implementation process according to the Medical Research Council framework. Conclusions We identified only a few studies with heterogeneous outcomes evidence regarding the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions is thus insufficient. Further research is needed focusing on the development and evaluation of complex psychosocial interventions and more well-designed RCTs with larger sample sizes based on a rigorous methodology. Reporting on feasibility and implementation processes of interventions should be guaranteed, since it is crucial to evaluate transferability across care settings.

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Elsevier B V
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International Journal of Nursing Studies
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