REACH I & II: Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer Caregiver Health

Project Summary:

REACH II was funded by the National Institute on Aging from 9/30/2001 through 8/31/2004.  This is the Competitive Renewal of the project described below, under a new overall title and with new goals. Five sites nationally enrolled 600 Anglo, Hispanic, and African American caregivers (approximately 120 per site) with a common intervention used at all sites and a common battery of outcome measures.  The Coordinating Center at the Univ. of Pittsburgh monitored randomization, safety issues, etc. in this Phase III clinical trial of the effectiveness of a newly designed behaviorally based intervention, compared to usual care, for improving quality of life in these diverse dementia caregivers.  Responsiveness within and between the three minority groups was of great interest in this project.

REACH I was previously funded for 5 years at this site, for which Dolores Gallagher-Thompson was Principal Investigator.  It was funded by the National Institute on Aging from 9/15/1995 through 8/31/2000. Our site was one of six Centers which collaborated to develop a set of common core measures that were used in the intervention research programs carried out (uniquely) at each Site.  In addition, multiple measures and intervention materials were translated as part of this work. At Palo Alto, our focus was on the evaluation of psychoeducational programs, compared to support groups and a telephone counseling condition, for treatment of caregivers’ depression and other variables indicative of distress.  We enrolled 147 Anglo and 110 Latina/Hispanic caregivers and followed them for 36 months, including 12 months of intervention. This study was the first of its kind to use a controlled clinical trial methodology to study the impact of different psychological interventions on Hispanic caregivers.

Selected Relevant Publications:

1.         Gallagher-Thompson, D., Coon, D.W., Solano, N., Ambler, C., Rabinowitz, Y., & Thompson, L.W.  (2003).  Change in indices of distress among Latino and Anglo female caregivers of elderly relatives with dementia: Site specific results from the REACH national collaborative study.  The Gerontologist, 43(4), (pp. 580-591).

2.         Tarlow, B. J., Wisniewski, S. R., Belle, S. H., Rubert, M., Ory, M. G., & Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2004). Positive Aspects of Caregiving: Contributions of the REACH project to the development of new measures for Alzheimer's caregiving. Research on Aging, 26(4), 429-453.

3.         REACH II Investigators (alphabetical order: Belle, S.H., Burgio, L., Burns, R., Coon, D., Czaja, S., Gallagher-Thompson, D., Gitlin, L., Klinger, J., Koepke, K. M., Lee, C. C., Martindale-Adams, J., Nichols, L., Schulz, R., Stahl, S., Stevens, A., Winter, L. & Zhang, S.)  (2006). Enhancing the quality of life of dementia caregivers from different ethnic or racial groups: A randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 145, 727-738.

4.         Rabinowitz, Y.G., Mausbach, B.T., Thompson, L.W., Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2007). The relationship between self-efficacy and cumulative health risk associated with health behavior patterns in female caregivers of elderly relatives with Alzheimer's dementia.  Journal of Aging and Health, 19(6), 946-964.

5.         Rabinowitz, Y., & Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2007).  Health behaviors among female family Alzheimer's dementia caregivers: The role of ethnicity and kinship status.  Clinical Gerontologist, 31(2), 17-32.

6.         Holland, J., Currier, J. M., & Gallagher-Thompson, D.  (2009). Outcomes from the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH) program for bereaved dementia family caregivers. Psychology and Aging, 24(1), 190-202.