As well as affecting those who actually have the condition Alzheimer's disease also takes a terrible toll on caregivers, leading to anxiety and depression among this group. A U.S. study of 158 spouse-caregivers looked into the effectiveness of counselling and social support in helping to prevent or ameliorate depression. Half the participants were given a comprehensive psychosocial intervention, including two individual and three family counselling sessions, as well as telephone counselling on demand for two years; the other participants were merely given information on request. Symptoms of depression in the caregivers were measured at the start of the study, and at regular follow-up assessments over two years. Over the course of the study the group receiving the psychosocial intervention showed reduced levels of depression whereas levels of depression increased in the control group.
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