A program evaluation of the Caregiver Assistance Program
Bougard, Christine Carrsyn
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The Caregiver Assistance Program (CAP) of North Broward Medical Center in Pompano Beach, Florida is a training and education program targeted towards dementia caregivers and taught in a multi-disciplinary approach. Responding to anecdotal data provided by previous participants that the program was clinically useful, the current study sought to objectify the effect of participation for the caregivers.;Forty-seven consecutive CAP participants and 39 non-participant dementia caregivers completed a test packet including The Procidano Scale of Perceived Social Support, The Beck Depression Inventory, The Zarit Burden Inventory and The Speilberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory at two separate time periods. In the test population, time one was previous to beginning CAP and time two was immediately following CAP completion (one week later). Control participants also had a one-week separation between the first and second administrations. Three hypotheses were evaluated: (1) participation would lower depression and anxiety scores, (2) participation would lower burden scores, and (3) spouse caregivers would benefit from participation to a greater degree than their adult child.;Analyses revealed initial differences between the two populations based on their responses to both the Procidano Family Support Scale (t = 8.23, p = .005) and Friends Support Scale (t = 9.83, p =.002) as well as on the Zarit Burden Inventory (t = 12.05, p = .001). Evaluating how the two populations' responses to the test packet changed over time revealed no statistical support for any of the three hypotheses.;Conclusions of the present research suggest the need for further study with various modifications including increased sample size for both CAP and control groups given low power for all analyses, increased time span between initial packet administration and follow-up, and the need for instruments that target the same constructs without being as transparent in their goals or negative in their implications. Further research is suggested into the long-term effects of the program and its application to other populations.