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2008 Grants - Gallagher-Thompson
Development and Evaluation of a Fotonovela to Manage Difficult Behaviors
Dolores E. Gallagher-Thompson, Ph.D.
2008 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are projected to increase six-fold among Hispanics in the United States by 2050. Most of these older Hispanics with dementia are cared for at home by a family member, usually a middle-aged daughter.
Some studies suggest that Hispanic caregivers have higher rates of depression and less support from family than Caucasian caregivers do. This group of caregivers is at risk for developing detrimental psychological and physiological effects from chronic stress. Compounding this problem is the fact that perhaps 40 percent of Hispanic adults in the United States are below acceptable literacy levels. A 2003 Institute of Medicine report addressed this growing national problem and specifically recommended developing simplified health education materials.
Dolores E. Gallagher-Thompson, Ph.D., and colleagues will create and study the effectiveness of a "fotonovela," or photo book, that teaches caregivers skills to better manage challenging behaviors and neuropsychiatric symptoms in their relative. After creating the book, the group will conduct a random trial of 140 people to compare the use of the fotonovela with currently available materials about behavioral management.
The group anticipates that the new fotonovela will be more effective in teaching caregivers the skills they need to care for their relatives.