Nonpharmacologic Interventions for Family Caregivers of People Living With Dementia in Latin-America: A Scoping Review

José M. Aravena, Jean Gajardo, Rodrigo Saguez, Ladson Hinton, Laura N. Gitlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Dementia prevalence in Latin America (LATAM) is rapidly increasing, contributing to significant family burden. As families are responsible for care, supportive interventions are critical. To understand the state-of-the-science, a scoping review was conducted of non-pharmacologic interventions for caregivers of people living with dementia (PLWD) in LATAM. Design: Eight databases were searched (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Scopus, Scielo, Lilacs, Redalyc, Google Scholar) for nonpharmacological intervention studies published up to July, 2021 in LATAM reporting at least 1 caregiver outcome. A qualitative synthesis examined study designs, participants, and outcomes characteristics. Results: Forty-five studies were identified from 25.8% (n = 8/31) of LATAM countries (28 = Brazil, 4 = Chile, 4 = Cuba, 4 = México, 2 = Colombia, 1 = Perú, 1 = Ecuador, 1 = Argentina): 29% (n = 17) were randomized clinical trials (RCT), 7% (n = 3) nonrandomized comparison trials, 42% (n = 19) pre-post trials, 9% (n = 4) postintervention analyses, and 4% (n = 2) single case studies, comprising a total of 1,171 caregivers and 817 PLWD. For 20 RCT and nonrandomized comparison trials, 31 interventions were tested of which 48.4% (n = 15) targeted caregivers and 32.3% (n = 10) dyads. Most studies involved daughters with less than 12 years of education and tested multicomponent interventions involving disease education (90%), and cognitive behavioral coping (45%). Half of interventions (51.6%; n = 16/31) tested were adapted from other countries, and reported benefits for caregiver depression, quality of life, and burden. Conclusion: Studies were conducted in a limited number of LATAM countries and few were RCTs. Results of RCTs showed benefits for socially vulnerable caregivers on psychosocial outcomes. There is an urgent need to rigorously evaluate more country/culturally specific interventions addressing unmet familial needs beyond psychosocial support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-877
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Global Health
  • Psychotherapy
  • Rehabilitation research
  • Social determinants of health
  • evidence-based practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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