Behavioural activation for family dementia caregivers: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Xin Yi XU, Rick Yiu Cho KWAN, Angela Yee Man LEUNG (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The current study aims to investigate the effectiveness of behavioral activation (BA) for family dementia caregivers. A systematic literature search was conducted through PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase and PsycINFO for studies published from March 1988 to September 2019. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) were combined to synthesize pooled effect measures using random effects. The review was based on ten randomized controlled trials. Depression was significantly reduced after participants received BA (n = 9; 786 participants; SMD = −0.69; 95% CI: −1.12 to −0.25; p = 0.002). BA also has a positive impact on other areas of psychological health (e.g., self-efficacy, anxiety, and distress) and physical health (e.g., interleukin-6) in family dementia caregivers. In conclusion, BA not only has a moderate effect on reducing depression but also has the potential to improve other areas of psychological and cardiovascular health in family caregivers. However, more interventional studies of BA for family dementia caregivers are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-552
Number of pages9
JournalGeriatric Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Behavioral activation
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Family caregiver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology


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