Translation of a dementia caregiver intervention for delivery in homecare as a reimbursable medicare service: Outcomes and lessons learned

Laura N. Gitlin, Mimi Jacobs, Tracey Vause Earland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Families of dementia patients receiving skilled homecare do not receive supportive services. We evaluated whether a proven intervention, Environmental Skill-building Program (ESP), which reduces caregiver burden and enhances skills managing patient functioning, can be integrated into homecare practices of occupational therapists (OTs) and reimbursed through Medicare Part B. Design and Methods: A 2-year translational project with a homecare practice was conducted. Five translational activities included refining ESP, site preparation, therapist training, establishing referral mechanisms, and evaluating outcomes using Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM). Results: Of 30 OTs approached for participation, 23 (77%) agreed, 22 (96%) completed training, and 21 (95.5%) used ESP and intended to continue use. Of 69 eligible caregivers, 41 (59%) agreed to participate averaging 4.7 sessions. Of 20 returned caregiver surveys, enhancements were reported in all targeted areas of knowledge and skills. Fidelity monitoring revealed inconsistency in therapists use of problem solving, yet caregiver enactment of ESP strategies was high. ESP sessions integrated within patient-directed therapy were reimbursed by Medicare Part B. Implications: RE-AIM indicators suggest moderate translational success. As ESP was reimbursed through Medicare B, its delivery may be sustainable and meet the needs of family caregivers of dementia patients receiving therapies at home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-854
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Caregiving
  • Medicare
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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