A pilot study of immune and mood outcomes of a community-based intervention for dementia caregivers: the PLST Intervention

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Peer Reviewed


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NLM Title Abbreviation

Arch Psychiatr Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Archives of Psychiatric Nursing

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DOI of Published Version


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Providing care to a family member with dementia is conceptualized as a chronic stressor with adverse psychological and physical effects. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate mood and immune outcomes of caregivers exposed to a community-based psychoeducational nursing intervention based on the progressively lowered stress threshold (PLST) model. The PLST intervention is designed to strengthen the psychological resources of dementia caregivers by teaching methods of preventing and/or managing behavioral problems exhibited by the person with dementia. Mood and immune outcomes were compared between caregivers randomly assigned to receive either the PLST or a comparison intervention. Results of this pilot study suggest that caregivers who received the PLST intervention showed significantly stronger T-cell proliferative responses to both PHA and ConA, indicating an improvement in T-cell immune function immediately after the in-home intervention (T2) and again after 6 months of telephone support for application of the PLST model (T3). Findings do not support the hypothesis that the PLST intervention had a significant effect on total mood disturbance or natural killer cell cytotoxicity over the course of the study. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.


Caregivers -- Psychosocial Factors, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychoeducation, Dementia, Psychoneuroimmunology, Funding Source, Random Assignment, Pilot Studies, T-Tests, Descriptive Statistics, Analysis of Covariance, P-Value, Repeated Measures, Two-Tailed Test, Multiple Regression, Power Analysis, Scales, Immunologic Tests, T Lymphocytes, Psychological Tests, Stress Management, Sample Size, Killer Cells, Natural, Aged, Male, Female, Human

Published Article/Book Citation

Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 16:4 (2002) pp.156-167.

Recommended Citation

Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. 2002 Aug;16(4):156-167.

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