Benefits of Caregiver Counseling in Patients with Dementia: A Retrospective Observational Study

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Introduction: Patients with dementia have a 1.42 times higher risk of hospitalization than those without. Preparing and educating caregivers by counseling may attenuate the frequency of hospitalization and the financial burden on the health-care system. We conducted a retrospective observational study to verify whether caregiver counseling would benefit patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Methods: The primary caregivers of patients with MCI or dementia at our Dementia Center from January 2017 to December 2018 were included in this study. Of the 532 caregivers who received counseling on caregiving for patients with dementia, 350 with complete data were included. The incidences of the patients' emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and durations of hospitalizations in 2 years prior to and after their caregivers received counseling were compared. A paired t test was used to test the frequency of patients' hospitalizations and emergency visits before and after counseling, and a p value of less than 0.05 was considered significant. Results: The incidence of emergency visits (before counseling: 0.67 times/year, standard deviation [SD] = 0.823; after counseling: 0.25 times/year, SD = 0.549; p < 0.001) and hospitalizations (before counseling: 1.104 times/year, SD = 0.882; after counseling: 0.719 times/year, SD = 0.642; p < 0.001) decreased significantly after caregivers received counseling. The durations of hospitalization before and after counseling were 9.74 (SD = 6.940) days and 9.23 (SD = 6.908) days, respectively (p = 0.136). Conclusion: Counseling for caregivers of patients with MCI or dementia can significantly decrease the incidences of patients' emergency visits and hospitalizations but not durations of hospitalization. In multifaceted disease like dementia, counseling for caregivers is beneficial and reduces the burden on the health-care system. Further large-scale studies are warranted to verify this finding.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Caregiver
  • Counseling
  • Dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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