vietnamese man meeting with physician uci school of nursing has found that a culturally appropriate home-based caregiver intervention improves relationships and well being of dementia family caregiversVietnamese family dementia caregivers could experience improvements in well-being with language-specific, culturally appropriate support, according to a pilot-test feasibility study.

Factors such as fear of social stigma deters many caregivers from seeking help, which increases their stress levels and the burden they carry, according to the study.

In some communities, such as the Vietnamese one, this can further widen existing health disparities.

Introducing mindfulness

As part of the study, Home Visit Based Mindfulness Intervention for Vietnamese American Dementia Family Caregivers, led by UCI honors student Christine Trinh Le and Associate Professor Jung-Ah Lee, bilingual student assistants were trained to provide mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing, at caregivers’ homes.

The Vietnamese family caregivers also received weekly home visits during which they were provided support and resources related to dementia caregiving. Weekly surveys measured emotional changes, feelings of connectedness to their loved one and overall happiness before and after the intervention.

Impact could expand to other cultures

The results showed promising trends — increases in happiness and positive affect, and a decrease in negative affect.

Similar home-based interventions for caregivers of a loved one with dementia may potentially have the same impact and reduce the burden of caregivers in other cultures, say the study’s authors.