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2022 Advancing Research on Care and Outcome Measurements (ARCOM)

Measuring Dementia Caregiving Styles to Improve Intervention Tailoring

Can different “styles” of providing dementia care influence the health outcomes of a person living with dementia?

Amanda Leggett, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI - United States



Background

Studies suggest that dementia can present several challenges for family caregivers, often reducing their physical and emotional health. Loss of caregiver health may, in turn, affect the quality of their caregiving. Interventions designed to reduce caregiver stress have shown some benefit. 

In preliminary studies, Dr. Amanda Leggett and colleagues found that family caregivers of people living with dementia have distinct ways of delivering care, as well as certain beliefs about what types of care work best for the person living with dementia. These caregiving “styles” often vary from one household to the next, as most family caregivers do not receive standardized training for their care role. The researchers also found that certain caregiving styles might better maintain the overall health and quality of life for both caregiver and care recipient.

Research Plan

In this study, Dr. Leggett and colleagues will develop a tool for classifying and assessing different dementia caregiving styles. This tool, featuring a series of questions and tests, will be tested on 200 family caregivers of people living with dementia. The researchers will then use cutting-edge statistical methods to analyze the results and refine their classification method.

Impact

If successful, Dr. Leggett’s project could offer a tool to accurately measure the style of caregiving in a wide variety of population groups and determine the opportunity to personalize this approach for improved care outcomes. It could also promote novel, tailored strategies for improving family dementia care and reducing its health-related costs. 

The ARCOM Grant Program was developed jointly with Leveraging an Interdisciplinary Consortium to Improve Care and Outcomes for Persons Living With Alzheimer’s and Dementia (LINC-AD). This work is also partially funded through the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Provider Roundtable

For more information on LINC-AD please visit: https://alz.org/linc-ad

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