Caring for a patient with dementia is associated with increased feelings of burden and
depression. The proposed study will examine the efficacy of Family Intervention: Telephone
Tracking - Dementia (FITT-Dementia), a multi-component, family-based, telephone
intervention, as a tool to reduce caregiver stress.
A previous pilot study of this approach showed reduced burden and reaction to memory and
behavior problems for dementia caregivers. This study will test the intervention in a larger
group of caregivers and have a more detailed analysis of outcomes.
The caregiver of a person with dementia will receive telephone support calls. They will
receive telephone calls from a trained member of the research team. These calls will occur
over a six-month period and will be scheduled at a time that is convenient for the
caregiver. They will receive a total of 16 calls over 6 months. During each call, the
support person will discuss their current caregiving situation and provide various forms of
- 1) Diagnosis of dementia;
- 2) mild to moderate dementia;
- 3) family member or other adult in caregiver role for at least 6 months, and who
provides at least 4 hours of supervision or direct assistance per day for the person
- 4) care recipient lives in the community, including senior/retirement centers, but
excluding nursing homes and assisted living centers; and
- 5) there is no plan for the care recipient to be placed in long term care or the
caregiver to end their role within the next 6 months
- 1) other major medical condition affecting independent functioning
- 2) older than age 90; and
- 3) younger than age 50.
- 1) major acute medical illness;
- 2) English not primary language;
- 3) cognitive impairment;
- 4) no access to a telephone; or
- 5) older than age 90.