NYUCI-ES: Psychosocial Intervention to Improve Health Outcomes for Chinese and Korean ADRD Caregivers

Photo of a caregiver getting checked up
Project Period:
09/24/2021 - 06/30/2026

Abstract

The physical and emotional demands of dementia caregiving can have enormous negative effects on caregivers’ physical and mental health. Dementia caregivers have increased risk of hypertension and diabetes, compared to non-caregivers, especially in minority populations.

This study will conduct a two-arm randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a culturally tailored version of the NYU Caregiver Intervention (NYUCI) plus enhanced support (ES) through online chat groups (the NYUCI plus WeChat/Kakaotalk [population social media app for Chinese/Korean] peer support which we call the NYUCI-ES in reducing health risks for cardiometabolic disease among older Chinese and Korean-American adults caring for relatives with ADRD. The NYUCI has proven efficacy in reducing psychological outcomes among largely White samples of caregivers of persons with ADRD and has been widely replicated and translated in the USA and elsewhere. This study will provide the first large- scale test of the potential effects of the NYUCI-ES, a multicomponent intervention that includes individual and family counseling and ongoing support via support group and online chat groups and ad hoc (on demand) counseling. In collaboration with community organizations across the New York and northern New Jersey metropolitan area, we will enroll 300 caregivers of people with ADRD (150 Chinese and 150 Korean) in this study.

Specific Aims

  • Aim 1: Develop culturally adapted informational and educational materials about dementia and caregiving issues for social service providers of the intervention and for family caregivers.
  • Aim 2: Test the hypothesis, H1: A counseling and support intervention (the NYUCI-ES) will significantly improve psychosocial factors such as depression, stress self-rated health and chronic disease management among Chinese and Korean-American ADRD caregivers and these changes will be mediated by improvement in social support. H1a: By the first (6- month) follow-up, the mediators (increases in social support, stress reaction) will improve significantly in the intervention group compared to baseline values and the control group. H1b: These improvements will be maintained, and lead to reduction in depressive symptoms, and improvement in self-reported health and chronic disease self-management by the 12-month follow-up compared to the control group.
  • Aim 3: Test the hypothesis, H2: the NYUCI-ES will reduce biologic risk factors, including metabolic health (glycosylated hemoglobin) and inflammation (Oxidative stress, lipid metabolism, etc.) within 6 months of enrollment compared to baseline and a control group; these changes will be mediated through increases in social support and decreases in depressive symptoms and will be maintained at the 12-month follow-up.  The public health significance of these findings will likely have an impact on health care policy for CGs from diverse underserved ethnic and cultural backgrounds, potentially reducing morbidity, and improving their quality of life.