Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Colleen Woolsey


Justin Maher


Background: Dementia is a major public health problem impacting an estimated 65.7 million people worldwide by 2030. It primarily occurs in the elderly population (over age 65) and also affects family caregivers, who often experience significant stress and burden. A psychoeducational support group may be an easy and cost-effective solution to caregiver stress and financial burden.

Objective: To determine whether or not there is an effect on self-reported stress and burden on family caregivers of elders with dementia (EWD) of a voluntary psychoeducational support group in the setting of Assisted Living, Memory Support, and Skilled Nursing led by a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Method: Design of the project is Quasi-experimental, pre-test/ post-test with convenience sampling and voluntary participation. The study only included family members of EWD who are living in an Assisted Living, Memory Support or a Skilled Nursing unit. There will be three psycho-educational support groups over seven weeks. The assessment of stress will be based on the Kingston Caregiver Stress Scale (KCSS) and burden will be based on the Zarit Burden Interview- short form (ZBI-12).

Results: The average scores on the KCSS and ZBI-12 decreased from the beginning to the end of the intervention. There is a correlation between the number of years as a caregiver and the amount of decrease in symptoms.

Implications: A support group may prove to be a low-cost intervention to decrease stress and burden in family caregivers and allow family caregivers to improve their quality of life while decreasing costs.

Included in

Nursing Commons