The Pasqual Maragall Foundation and the Obra Social "la Caixa", in collaboration with the Spanish Confederation of Family Members of People with Alzheimer's and Other Dementias (CEAFA), presented yesterday the results of a pioneering research on the impact of therapeutic groups on caregivers of people with Alzheimer's. The results were attended by Marc Simón, corporate director of the Social Area of the "la Caixa" Banking Foundation; Jordi Camí, general director of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation, and Cheles Cantabrana, president of the CEAFA.
The study has demonstrated scientifically that group psychotherapy improves the level of well-being of caregivers of people with Alzheimer's. The improvements have been significant in terms of quality of life, perceived social support and resilience, which is the ability of human beings to overcome difficult and emotionally stressful situations and come out stronger from them. Likewise, it has contributed to an improvement, also significant, in the states of anxiety and depression.
In addition, in relation to the use of health resources, the results accumulated throughout the study show that the intervention with follow-up is economically more sustainable in the long term for the health system. Specifically, in those caregivers who take medication for conditions related to the caregiving or who have some illness related to the burden of giving cares (76 participants), the overall cumulative results show a lower number of visits of primary care and rehabilitation, and a lower average cost in drugs, including those related to care. These results are preliminary, and for confirmation it will be necessary to extend the study with a larger sample of population and longer times.
The methodology of the study has obtained positive results - 97% of the participating caregivers would recommend assistance to some acquaintance -, so the current proposal of its promoters is to progressively transfer this model to the health system, in addition to training professional therapists so that can create groups with this validated methodology. The training would allow to homogenize the therapy to ensure the same quality in all groups.