Effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for caregivers of people with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Oh Young Kwon, Hyeong Sik Ahn, Hyun Jung Kim, Kun Woo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose Caregivers endure tremendous physical, emotional, and financial burdens while caring for people with dementia. The current study aimed to estimate the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for caregivers of people with dementia (CGP-WD). Methods Studies in the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and SCO-PUS databases were screened. Studies with a randomized controlled design and which produced CBT outcomes for CGPWD were included in this study, and we investigated these outcomes. Results The screening of abstracts of 263 studies resulted in 12 randomized controlled trials being included in this study. The mean age of the CGPWD ranged from 51.5 to 66.2 years. The caregiver role was most frequently adopted by a female spouse or daughter. CBT for the CGP-WD resulted in positive effects on various conditions, including depression, anxiety, stress, and dysfunctional thoughts. Depression was the most commonly evaluated condition, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was most frequently used as an inventory for depressive symptoms. The mean differences between the baseline and postinter-vention CES-D scores were compared between the CBT-intervention and control groups. The CES-D score decreased significantly more in the CBT-intervention group than in the control group. The difference in pooled mean differences between the two groups was -4.98. Conclusions CBT is an efficient intervention tool for reducing the various emotional burdens experienced by CGPWD. This meta-analysis found that CBT significantly improved the depressive symptoms of CGPWD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-404
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurology (Korea)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral therapy
  • Caregivers
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Dementia
  • Depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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