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Problem-solving in caregiver-counselling (PLiP Study): study protocol of a cluster randomized pragmatic trial

Background: Despite the positive evaluation of various caregiver interventions over the past 3 decades, only very few intervention protocols have been translated to delivery in service contexts. The purpose of this study is to train care counsellors of statutory long term care insurances in problem-solving and to evaluate this approach as an additional component in the statutory care counselling in Germany. Methods: A pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial in which 38 sites with 58 care counsellors are randomly assigned to provide either routine counselling plus additional problem-solving for caregivers or routine counselling alone. The counsellor training comprises an initial 2-day training, a follow-up day after 4 months, and biweekly supervision contacts with a psychotherapist for 6 months over the phone. The agreed minimum counselling intensity is one initial face-to-face contact including a caregiver assessment and at least one telephone follow-up contact. Caregivers who are positively screened for significant strain in their role are followed up at 3 and 6 months after baseline assessment. Main outcome are caregivers’ depressive symptoms. Discussion: While it is unclear if the expected very low amount of additional counselling time is sufficient to yield any additional effects on caregiver depression, it is also unclear if the additional problem-solving component yields to synergies with routine counselling that is based on information and case management. There are different potential individual and organisational barriers to a consistent intervention delivery like gratification for participation, time for extra work or internal motivation to participate. Trial registration: (ISRCTN23635523)

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Randomized controlled trial
BioMed Central
Publication Year
Journal Titles
BMC Geriatrics
Volume Number
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