An increasing number of older persons with chronic illnesses are being cared for by family members in the community with the assistance of respite, adult day care, and home care services. The growth in the number of persons providing care has led to the development of interventions, particularly psychoeducational support groups, to support family caregivers. The literature on the efficacy of support group interventions is reviewed, and the planning, implementation, and evaluative issues of particular relevance to educators are identified. Most studies have determined that participants are satisfied with the programs; however, whether they have decreased felt burden or stress has yet to be determined. Methodological issues such as interpreting significance levels, controlling for regression artifacts and reactivity bias, and using standardized instruments and more sophisticated analytical methods (e.g., prediction analysis) require more careful attention in future research. Striking the balance between effective program development and responsible evaluation will be the challenge for educators for many years to come.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology