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Stress-Busting Program for Caregivers of Patients With Neruological Diseases

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier:
First received: July 18, 2005
Last updated: February 6, 2014
Last verified: January 2007

Although family caregivers perform an incredibly valuable service for their relatives and the formal health care system, they do so at a considerable cost to themselves both emotionally and physically. Effective stress management techniques can: 1) help to decrease the caregivers' feelings of burden and stress; 2) improve the emotional and physical health of caregivers; and 3) empower caregivers to gain control of their lives.

Condition Intervention
Psychological Adaptation
Parkinson's Disease
Neurological Disorders
Behavioral: Stress Busting Program for family caregivers

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Stress-Busting Program for Caregivers of Patients With Neurological Diseases

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Questionnaires assessing levels of stress, burden, depression, health, sense of coherence and coping resources; bio-assessment of stress and relaxation, and immune assays. All measures will be taken at baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 16 weeks, and 32 weeks. [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Qualitative data resulting from pre and post intervention interviews. [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: July 2004
Study Completion Date: June 2006
Arms Assigned Interventions
Arm 1 Behavioral: Stress Busting Program for family caregivers

Detailed Description:

The overall goal of this randomized clinical trial is to determine the effectiveness of a stress-busting program (SBP) for caregivers of patients with chronic neurological diseases including stroke, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease. Specific research objectives include: 1) Prospectively determine the effects of a SBP compared to a standard support group (SSG) on quality of life and immune response in caregivers of patients with chronic neurological diseases. Subjects will be tested at baseline, at completion of 4 and 8 weeks of SBP or SSG, and at 2- and 4-month follow up sessions. 2) Determine subjects' relaxation response as well as their response to acute laboratory stressors using bioinstrumentation. Muscle tension, electrodermal response, skin temperature, blood volume pulse, and heart rate will be measured. Subjects will be tested at baseline, at completion of 4 and 8 weeks of a SBP or SSG, and at 2- and 4-month follow up sessions. 3) Compare the effectiveness of SBP or SSG for adult children caregivers as compared to spousal caregivers based on quality of life measurements, immune parameters, and relaxation response. The proposed multimodal SBP will focus on a variety of approaches based on cognitive behavioral and relaxation response theories. SBP will consist of a 8-week program with 1�-hour sessions per week. The setting will be an educational support group with topics related to stress, stress and challenges of caregiving, depression, coping strategies, positive thinking, and taking time for oneself. In addition, subjects will be taught simple relaxation strategies that they can practice at home. Outcomes will be measured using psychosocial instruments as well as state-of-the science technology including bioinstrumentation and immune parameters to measure biological responses. Follow up testing will be done 2 and 4 months after the end of the SBP or SSG to determine the long-term effectiveness of the intervention.


Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

The primary caregiver of an individual with a neurological disease. Able to read and converse in English.

Exclusion Criteria:

Presently participating in an ongoing support group related to the neruological disease.

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00122174

United States, Texas
VA South Texas Health Care System, San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas, United States, 78229
Sponsors and Collaborators
Principal Investigator: Sharon L. Mantik Lewis, PhD MS BS VA South Texas Health Care System
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier: NCT00122174     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NRI 01-006
Study First Received: July 18, 2005
Last Updated: February 6, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Nervous System Diseases
Parkinson Disease
Basal Ganglia Diseases
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Movement Disorders
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Parkinsonian Disorders processed this record on November 27, 2014