Testing the effect of two wellness programs on the well-being of family caregivers
What is this Study about?
The purpose of this study is to assess whether an 8-week stress-management program supports psychological well-being (e.g., feelings of stress), biological indicators of stress (e.g., inflammation), and cognitive function (e.g., attentional ability) in primary family caregivers of someone with dementia or a related neurodegenerative disorder. A total of 232 primary family caregivers aged 50-70 will be recruited for this randomized controlled study.
This study will help us understand the effects of stress-management programs for caregivers, generally considered a group of individuals exposed to chronic stress. Findings from this study will drive the development of targeted, community-based programs for informal caregivers.
What Will Happen in This Study?
1. A 10-minute pre-screening interview.
2. Participate in one of three groups: a mindfulness training group, a psychoeducation group, or a waitlist control group. Each will be 2-hour weekly sessions over 8 weeks over Zoom.
3. Three assessments: before the program, after the program, and at a 12-month follow-up. Each assessment will include:
online questionnaires on your current mood, attitudes and self-care habits.
tasks that measure attention while on Zoom with a researcher.
providing blood samples, height/weight measurements and blood pressure readings at a LifeLabs medical clinic near you.
Who is Eligible to Participate in this Study?
- are a primary family caregiver of a person with dementia or a related neurodegenerative disorder.
- have access to a computer with high-speed internet; and feel comfortable using email and Zoom (a secure online meeting platform).
- have a video camera on your device. To ensure safety of participants during the program sessions, it is important that participants turn on their video camera. Keeping the video camera on is also important to build trust within the group sessions and when interacting with the researchers.
- are willing to be randomised to one of 3 groups, even if it is not your preferred group.
- are able to commit to a synchronous 8-week online group-based program (described below) and complete daily prescribed daily home practices.
- are able to commit to three assessment sessions: one baseline assessment, one post-program assessment, one 12-month follow-up assessment.
- agree to audio recording of interview sessions and portions of the assessment that require accurate verbal data collection.
- are able to provide blood samples, potentially after a 12-hour fast.
- are able to travel to a LifeLabs clinic for biomarker collection.
- agree to refrain from participating in new studies or programs during the 8-week study session.
- meet the screening criteria during the pre-screening interview.
- ability to speak English.
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