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The Gerontologist 46:688-694 (2006)
© 2006 The Gerontological Society of America

Dyadic Intervention for Family Caregivers and Care Receivers in Early-Stage Dementia

Carol J. Whitlatch, PhD1, Katherine Judge, PhD1, Steven H. Zarit, PhD2 and Elia Femia, PhD2

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Carol J. Whitlatch, PhD, The Margaret Blenkner Research Institute, Benjamin Rose, 11900 Fairhill Road, Suite 300, Cleveland, OH 44120. E-mail: cwhitlat{at}

Purpose: The Early Diagnosis Dyadic Intervention (EDDI) program provides a structured, time-limited protocol of one-on-one and dyadic counseling for family caregivers and care receivers who are in the early stages of dementia. The goals and procedures of EDDI are based on previous research suggesting that dyads would benefit from an intervention that increases the care receiver's active participation in his or her care plan, develops positive communication patterns between the caregiver and care receiver, increases knowledge and understanding about available services, and assists the dyad through the emotional turbulence of a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or other dementing condition. Design and Methods: EDDI was developed in response to research and clinical findings that suggested that care dyads in the early stages of dementia and dementia care are able to engage in a dialogue about future preferences for care, and that this discussion could address some of the uncertainty and worry experienced by each member of the dyad. As part of a feasibility trial, 31 dyads participated in the EDDI program. Measures were obtained on the intervention's implementation, including the number of sessions attended, caregiver and care receiver ratings of treatment acceptability and effectiveness, and counselor ratings of treatment effectiveness. Results: Participant and counselor evaluations of the EDDI protocol indicated that the intervention was acceptable and satisfactory to the caregivers, care receivers, and counselors, and that the intervention's goals and objectives were achievable. Implications: These findings indicate that individuals with early-stage dementia and their family caregivers are able to participate in and benefit from a structured intervention that focuses on care planning for future needs.

Key Words: Alzheimer's disease • Counseling • Dementia intervention • Early diagnosis of dementia

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H. L. Menne and C. J. Whitlatch
Decision-Making Involvement of Individuals With Dementia
Gerontologist, December 1, 2007; 47(6): 810 - 819.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

All GSA journals Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2006 by The Gerontological Society of America.