Objectives: Spousal caregivers of patients with dementia are in need of interventions to bolster their quality of life. Computer-based, self-administered cognitive training is an innovative approach to target spousal caregiver distress and coping. We tested the feasibility of administering one such intervention with minimal clinician intervention.Methods: Twenty-seven elderly adults (>64 years old), who each were the primary caregiver for a spouse with dementia, were recruited through the Memory Disorders Clinic of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Spousal caregivers were instructed to use a handheld computer version of the Adaptive Paced Visual Serial Attention Task (APVSAT) at least three times per week for four weeks as part of a larger caregiver intervention trial (P01 AG020677). Feasibility was explored by examining the frequency of APVSAT usage.Results: Results suggest that self-directed cognitive training is feasible for spousal caregivers of dementia patients. The mean usage of the APVSAT was 42 (SD = 28.58). Performance increased from the beginning to the end of the trial, and usage was not affected by stress, worry, or poor sleep quality.Conclusion: Findings suggest the potential utility of cognitive training via handheld computer for spousal caregivers of dementia patients to improve problem solving, coping and adaptation, planning, and persevering with goal-directed tasks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Phychiatric Mental Health
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health