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Archives of Clinical Psychiatry (São Paulo)

Print version ISSN 0101-6083On-line version ISSN 1806-938X


KAMKHAGI, Dorli et al. Benefits of psychodynamic group therapy on depression, burden and quality of life of family caregivers to Alzheimer’s disease patients. Arch. Clin. Psychiatry (São Paulo) [online]. 2015, vol.42, n.6, pp.157-160. ISSN 0101-6083.


Family members providing continuous care to demented patients suffer from severe burden that impairs quality of life and often evolves to depression.


This study aims to evaluate the effect of psychodynamic group psychotherapy (PGT) compared to body awareness therapy (BAT) on caregiver burden, depressive symptoms, and quality of life among family caregivers to Alzheimer disease (AD) patients.


Thirty-seven healthy family caregivers were randomly allocated to receive PGT (n = 20) or BAT (n = 17). Interventions were administered in the format of 14 weekly group sessions. Outcome measures were: modification of scores on Zarit Burden Scale, Beck Depression Inventory and WHO-QoL Scale.


Participants in the PGT group displayed significant reduction on burden (p = 0.01) and depression scores (p = 0.005), and improved quality of life (p = 0.002), whereas those in the BAT group showed improvements in burden of care (p = 0.001) and quality of life (p = 0.01), but not on depressive symptoms (p = 0.13).


Psychodynamic psychotherapy was associated with amelioration of depressive symptoms, but overall benefits on burden of care and quality of life were similar irrespective of the type of intervention, i.e., psychologically-oriented or not. We hypothesize that these interventions can be complementary to improve depression and burden of care among family caregivers of AD patients.

Keywords : dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; caregiver; burden; depression; quality of life; psychodynamic therapy; body awareness therapy.

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