Mental health

Interventions for carers of people with dementia

Question 9: For carers of people with dementia, do interventions (psychoeducational, cognitive-behavioural therapy counseling/case management, general support, training of caregivers, multi-component interventions and miscellaneous interventions) when compared to placebo/comparator, produce benefits/harm in the specified outcomes?

  • Population: carers of people with dementia
  • Interventions:
    • psychoeducational (total, active participation of caregivers, information provision only)
    • cognitive-behavioural therapy
    • counselling/case management
    • general support
    • training of caregivers
    • multi-component interventions
    • miscellaneous interventions (forms of interventions that were evaluated only in one or two studies were combined into this category because sub-analyses could not be computed)
  • Comparison: care as usual
  • Outcomes:
    • caregiver burden
    • depressive symptoms
    • subjective well-being
    • ability/knowledge of caregivers
    • care receiver symptoms
    • institutionalization.


Psychoeducational interventions should be offered to family and other informal carers of people with dementia at the time when diagnosis is made.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Training of carers involving active carer participation (e.g. role playing of behavioural problem management) may be indicated later in the course of illness for carers who are coping with behavioural symptoms in people with dementia.
Strength of recommendation: STANDARD

Carer psychological strain should be addressed with support, counselling, and/or cognitive-behaviour interventions.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Depression in carers should be managed according to the recommendations for depression (see depression guidelines).
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Evidence profile