Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This study examined the extent to which adherence to occupational therapy recommendations would increase the quality of life of persons with Alzheimer’s disease living in the community and decrease the burden felt by family members caring for them.

METHOD. Using a pretest–posttest control group design, the Assessment of Instrumental Function (AIF) was administered to two groups of persons with Alzheimer’s disease in their own homes (n = 40). Caregivers completed measures of their feelings of burden and the quality of life, including level of function of the persons with Alzheimer’s disease.

RESULTS. A significant (MANCOVA) main effect was obtained for caregiver burden and three components of quality of life, positive affect, activity frequency and self-care status, by the treatment group, F(4, 31) = 7.34, p < .001.

CONCLUSIONS. Individualized occupational therapy intervention based on the person–environment fit model appears effective for both caregivers and clients. This is especially important in light of a recent directive for more favorable reimbursement for occupational therapy services for persons with dementia.

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