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Dr. GallagherThompson specializes in treatment of late-life depression and in working with persons with neurocognitive disorders (such dementia) and their family caregivers/ care partners. She provides individual psychotherapy, using a cognitive/behavioral framework (CBT) as part of the Geropsychiatry outpatient clinic at Stanford. She also leads psychoeducational workshops.as part of the Neuroscience Center's community educational programs..She is a board-certified specialist in Geropsychology (psychology of older adults) and is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been in practice for 25 years. She received her degree in clinical psychology/adult development and aging from the University of Southern California and did her clinical training at UCLA. She has been an NIH funded researcher for the past 25 years and is most noted for her empirical studies on the efficacy of psychoeducational interventions to reduce stress and improve the psychological status of family caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. She has culturally modified, translated, and tailored programs for Chinese-speaking, Spanish-speaking, and Farci-speaking caregivers. In addition she works with an international advisory group, led by WHO, that has created an on-line web-based program to provide education and skill training globally to dementia family caregivers. The third edition of the edited book, Ethnicity and the Dementias, was published in 2019. Additionally, she is a Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and a recognized Trainer/ Consultant/ Supervisor in CBT. In collaboration with others she is completing 2nd edition of the clinician guide and client workbook in the Treatments that Work series (Oxford). These focus on effective use of CBT with older adults. In addition, she has worked with colleagues to create an edited "primer" on geropsychology. All three books will be published in 2021. At present she is Emerita Professor of Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, and former Director of the Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core of the Stanford Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. The latter focused on recruiting Latino and American Indian persons with dementia and their family caregivers. She has authored over 200 papers in major journals in the field. She is co-founder and current member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the local northern CA chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She is an associate editor of the journal Clinical Gerontologist: The Journal of Mental Health, Diversity, and Aging.Current active projects include: consulting on development and implementation of an internet-based programs for rural US caregivers of persons with dementia, and for family caregivers of older adults with any form of dementia in Thailand. She is currently working with collaborators at UCSF on the CARE project which aims to establish a research registry specifically for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders who have been traditionally very under-represented in health-related research. Finally, she is working with a local technology company to develop a suite of apps for mobile phones and tablets, aimed at family caregivers.
iSupport is a collaborative effort between Stanford faculty, the World Health Organization, and a panel of international dementia care experts who are working together to create an open-source platform of information, support, and skill training exercises to assist dementia caregivers around the world. Content development will be completed by end of 2015. In 2016 the platform will be developed and pilot tested in a randomized trial to be conducted in Bangalore, India, after cultural "tailoring" of content and language. If successful the program and platform will be made available free of charge to any country that is interested. They are free then to do their own cultural & linguistic "tailoring" as appropriate for their country.
This is an 18-episode "soap opera" formatted webnovela, entirely in Spanish and filmed by skilled actors, that is being used to educate Latino families about cognitive decline. It shows how a real-life multi-generational Latino family learns that grandma has significant memory loss; it shows how they cope initially, and with changes over time, in her condition. It is both entertaining and informative. We are currently recruiting (through June 2016) for participants. It is entirely web-based so geographical proximity is not an issue. If there is no computer/ internet availability but a family is eligible, a DVD can be provided and all pre and post tests mailed. This project is funded by the National Institute on Aging. Student participation welcome!
Longitudinal study of how caregivers of older persons with dementia of some type adapt over time. Conducted collaboratively with the Stanford Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
San Francisco Bay Area
4-part workshop series designed to teach adaptive coping skills to family caregivers of persons with dementia. Offered throughout the community in various locations. Spanish language version will soon be available.
greater San Francisco Bay area
stress reduction training for dementia family caregivers
Stanford Neuroscience Center Support Services Program
caregivers of persons with various forms of dementia
Program development, implementation, and evaluation in Thailand and Shanghai, China
University College London & government entities in Thailand and Shanghai
Carers of persons with dementia in Thailand and Shanghai
Uses "soap opera" segments in Spanish
Photozig Inc & Alzheimer's Assn.
Spanish speaking persons who identify as Hispanic/ Latino
Diversity & Dementia
World Health Organization
Globally: family members of persons with significant cognitive confusion
University of North Texas, Denton
Southern Caregiver Resource Center
Australian Government in Queensland
University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Departamento de Psicologia, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University
Skill training for Japanese & Chinese family caregivers
International Alzheimer's Assn.
Japanese & Chinese family members caring at home for frail elderly relatives
"Train the Trainers" to deliver psychoeducational skill building programs to family caregivers
Caregiver Resource Centers of CA & San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Alzheimer's Association
Staff and families caring for physically and/or cognitively impaired elder relatives
Currently I am researching how non-traditional methods to deliver information and to provide services to distressed persons and families can be used effectively, AND, how these non-traditional methods vary by culture and other dimensions of diversity. Specifically, I have 5 current projects that embody these concepts:1) PRISM: this project is an innovative collaboration among academic institutions (Harvard, Stanford, Univ. of South Carolina), government entities in Thailand and Shanghai, China, and health care providers in those countries. The goal is to develop culturally appropriate intervention programs for carers of persons with neurocognitive disorders and to implement them effectively. This 5 year project began Jan. 2018 and is currently enrolling participants. 2) CARE: Collaborative Approach for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Research & Education. This 3 year project will establish a research registry of AA/PI interested in dementia- related research by studying effective "messages" & outreach methods. Since less than 1% of AA/PI are currently represented in this kind of research this registry is sorely needed. CARE members include a host of community agencies representing various AA/PI sub-groups, as well as UCSF, UC Irvine, USC,& UC Davis. 3) iSupport: This recently completed project, funded by WHO and the Alzheimer's Assn, developed a web-based psychoeducational program for dementia family caregivers & conducted a pilot study in India. I am now working with a team based at NYU to develop a US version of iSupport. 4) Rural Dementia Care Project: This research provides an on-line caregiver psychoeducational workshop to rural caregivers in multiple states in the US. Its goal is to reach out to this underserved group & to evaluate how effective this kind of program is to reduce distress and improve quality of life. UCSF is the lead institution. 5) MIRELA is a recently completed project that developed and tested a webnovela, entirely in Spanish, that follows the trajectory of an elder Latina as she declines over time from Alzheimer's disease. It depicts (in novel soap opera format) what the challenges are and how this multi-generational family responds to them, The RCT clearly showed that MIRELA was superior to the control condition in reducing depression and improving coping skills in caregivers. Finally: A revised and updated version of my original "Coping with Caregiving" evidence-based program for dementia family caregivers was completed. It emphasizes positive psychology by incorporation gratitude, forgiveness, & hope. ACES: Active Caregiving: Empowerment Skills is offered free of charge through Aging Adult Services and the Neuroscience Supportive Care Program at Stanford University School of Medicine. .