Table 1

Characteristics of caregiver intervention studies (n=30)

AuthorCountrySample size analysedIntervention type and mode of deliveryIntervention contentDuration and
session #
DesignComparison group
High income
(1) Au et al9Hong Kong SAR—China27Group and
in-person
Relaxation techniques; education about Alzheimer’s disease and caregiver stress; behavioural modification skill training; cognitive–behavioural therapy; information on local community services; pleasant event scheduling13 weeks and 13 sessionsRCT–two armsWait-list control
(2) Au et al10Hong Kong SAR—China60Individual and telephonePleasant event scheduling; problem-solving; adaptive coping; information on community resources4 weeks and
7 sessions
RCT–two armsUsual care
(3) Au11Hong Kong SAR—China93Individual and
telephone
Information on dementia and effects on caregivers; communicating with other family members; pleasant event scheduling; information on community resources4 months and
13 sessions
RCT–two armsBrief (4 session) version of intervention
(4) Au et al12Hong Kong SAR—China59Individual and
telephone
Information on dementia and effects on caregivers, relaxation techniques; identifying triggers and consequences of problem behaviour to minimise the occurrences; identifying and changing unhelpful thinking; improving communication skills; pleasant events scheduling; planning for the future.5 months and
8 sessions
RCT–two armsBrief (4 session) version of intervention
(5) Chen et al13Taiwan46Individual and in-personEducation about dementia, problem-solving skills, information on social resources and emotional support and self-care3 months and 6 sessionsRCT–two armsUsual care
(6) Cheng et al14Hong Kong SAR—China25Group and
in-person
Psychoeducation about dementia and caregiving; problem-solving skills; positive reappraisal coping8 weeks and 8 sessionsRCT–two armsIntervention without positive cognitive reappraisal
(7) Cheng et al15Hong Kong SAR—China129Group and
in-person
Education about dementia; positive reappraisal coping, stress-management (relaxation), skill-building (managing behaviours, communication skills); home environmental modification; information on community resources.8 weeks & 8 sessionsCluster RCT – three arms
  1. Standard psychoeducation

  2. Simplified Psychoeducation

(8) Cheung
et al16
Hong Kong SAR—China201Individual and in-personDisease education, home safety, caregiver health and well-being and care recipients’ problem behaviour12 sessionsQuasi-experimental pre-post treatmentNone
(9) Chien and Lee 17Hong Kong SAR—China88Group and
in-person
Orientation to dementia care; educational workshop about dementia care; family role and strength rebuilding; community support resources; review of programme and evaluation6 months and
12 sessions
RCT–two armsUsual care +monthly educational classes
(10) Chien and Lee18Hong Kong SAR—China92Individual and in-personEducation; sharing and discussion; psychological support; problem-solving6 months and 10 sessionsRCT–two armsUsual care
(11) Chu et al19Taiwan60Group and
in-person
Sharing and discussion; behaviour problems of dementia patients; self-care; information on community resources; communication problems; developing future plans for care12 weeks and 12 sessionsRCT–two armsUsual care
(12) Chua and Pachana20Australia and
Singapore
12Individual and DVDInformation on Alzheimer’s and caregiver stress; managing problem behaviours; communication; pleasant events; planning for the future; resources for caregivers8 weeksClinical trial–one armNone
(13) Fung and Chien22Hong Kong SAR—China52Group and
in-person
Education; sharing and discussion; psychological support; problem solving12 weeks and 12 sessionsRCTUsual care
(14) Hirano
et al23
Japan31Individual and in-personExercise12 weeks and 1 sessionRCTNon-exercise control group
(15) Hosaka and Sugiyama24 25Japan20Group and
in-person
General concept of stress; problem-solving techniques; relaxation training; autogenic training; group discussion5 weeks and
5 sessions
Clinical trial–one armNone
(16) Huang
et al26
Taiwan48Individual and in-person+telephoneEstablish partnership with family caregivers; identify and plan for the targeted behavioural problems; explore causative environmental stimuli; handling behavioural problems strategies4 weeks &
4 sessions
RCTWritten educational materials and phone follow-up every 2 weeks
(17) Kim27South Korea54Individual and in-personEducation about dementia; health management; stress management; family conflict resolution; communication and coping strategies; art therapy; laughter therapy recreation; information on community resources8 weeks and
8 sessions
Quasi-experimental–two armsUsual care
(18) Huang et al, Kuo et al28–32Taiwan129Individual and in-person+telephoneIntroduce common behaviour problems; principles for managing behavioural problems; community resources; modification of behavioural problems6 months and 8 sessions (2 in-person and 6 by telephone)RCTWritten educational materials and social telephone follow-ups
(19) Kwok et al33Hong Kong SAR—China38Individual and telephoneKnowledge of dementia; skills of communicating with the patient; management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD); caregivers’ own emotional issues; resources available in the community; long-term care plan.12 weeks and 12 sessionsRCTEducational DVD
(20) Kwok et al34Hong Kong SAR—China26Individual and OnlineRapport building; BPSD and validation techniques; cognitive restructuring; behaviour management; meditation; mindful breathing; self-recognition9 weeks and online counsellingWithin-subjects (pre-post design)None
(21) Lai et al35Hong Kong SAR—China11Group and
In-person or online
Knowledge of dementia and resources; skills; social support7 weeks & 7 sessionsRCT–two armsOnline intervention version of intervention
(22) Lam et al36Hong Kong SAR—China99Individual and in-person+telephoneAssessment and advice; home-based programme on cognitive stimulation; case management4 months & 13 sessions (median)RCT–two armsSingle home visit
(23) Lee et al37South Korea30Individual and in-personRelaxation training; cognitive restructuring; modelling sequence, systematic problem-solving7 weeks &
7 sessions
RCT–two armsWait-list control
(24) Wang and Chien39Hong Kong SAR—China80Group and
in-person
Information about dementia; development of social relationships; sharing emotional impacts of caregiving; self-care and motivation; interpersonal relationships with family members and the client; support from the community groups and healthcare resources; problem-solving skills in family care; additional routine family services provided by the dementia care centre6 months and 8 sessionsRCT–two armsRoutine family services provided by the dementia care centre
(25) Yeung and Chiu41Hong Kong SAR—China20Group and
in-person
Information on dementia, communication with person with dementia; self-care; fall prevention; stress management; caregiver general health; physical exercises and activities12 months and 12 sessionsClinical trial–two armsUsual care
(26) Young42Hong Kong SAR—China64Group and
in-person
Promoting mutual trust; knowledge of dementia, cognitive impairment and related coping skills; developing positive lifestyle such as physical exercise, health diet and maintaining positive mood; communication skills; establish positive relationship between participants and family caregivers; planning for future.10 weeks and 10 sessionsRCT–two armsStandardised educational materials on basic information on neurocognitive disorder
Upper-middle income
(27)Senanarong et al38Thailand50Group and
in-person
Mutual support and sharing; information on dementia course and prognosis, management of behavioural problems, environmental adaptation and recreation strategies to cope with behavioural problems, identification of underlying needs of person with dementia, communication and provision of basic personal care to patients with dementia.6 months and 5 sessionsClinical trial–two armsUsual routine services
(28) Wang et al40China78Group and
in-person
Information about client’s condition; development of group as a support system; emotional impact of care-giving; learning about self-care; improving interpersonal relationships; establishing support outside the group; and improving home care skills24 weeks and 12 sessionsRCT–two armsStandard family support services
Lower-middle income
(29) Dias et al21India81Individual and in-personInformation on dementia, guidance on behaviour management, a single psychiatric assessment and psychotropic medication if needed.6 months and session number varied based on needRCT–two armsWait list control given information about dementia
Low income
(30) Ali and Bokharey8Pakistan8Individual and in-personTherapeutic intervention focusing on psychoeducation, eliciting cognitive distortions, cost-benefit analysis, pie chart, evidence for and against, problem solving, relaxation training, guided imagery, stress management, nutrition education, sleep hygiene, time management, and physical activities.5–8 weeks and 10 sessionClinical trial–one armNone
  • RCT, randomized controlled trial.