TITLE

Effectiveness of Communication Strategies Used by Caregivers of Persons With Alzheimer's Disease During Activities of Daily Living

AUTHOR(S)
Small, Jeff A.; Gutman, Gloria; Makela, Saskia; Hillhouse, Beth
PUB. DATE
April 2003
SOURCE
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2003, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p353
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Communication difficulties between individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their caregivers are commonly reported. Caregivers carry the burden of managing breakdowns in communication because people with AD are often unable to modify their communicative behavior. To assist caregivers in this endeavor, clinicians and caregiving professionals have offered a variety of strategies aimed at accommodating the individual's declining abilities. Many of these strategies are intuitively appealing, but they lack empirical support. This study investigated the effectiveness of 10 frequently recommended communication strategies when employed by family caregivers of persons with AD. In particular, we assessed (a) which strategies family caregivers report using and with what degree of success, (b) which of these strategies are used by caregivers in actual interactions with their spouses, and (c) which strategies contribute to improved communication. The study included a self-report questionnaire and wireless audio-recorded interactions between 18 persons with AD and their spousal caregivers during activities of daily living. The findings validate the effectiveness of certain communication strategies (e.g., simple sentences) but not others (e.g., slow speech). The results should be of interest to both family members and professionals who want to enhance communication and the quality of their interactions with persons with Alzheimer's disease.
ACCESSION #
9467199

 

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