This week we’d like to highlight more of the research some of our student partners at the University of Florida have been working on with our HABIT research study data that many of you participated in. This week’s blog comes from Priscilla Amofa, a psychology doctoral student at UF. We highlight the impact of HABIT on the person with MCI a lot in our research, but this week let’s focus on the impact on the caregivers.
In general, caregivers of persons with MCI experience increased distress and reduced quality of life. There is growing interest in exploring how behavioral interventions can help minimize this distress and reduction in quality of life. This particular project explored how the different interventions that make up HABIT influence caregivers’ well-being for up to 12 months after training.
What We Did
In the HABIT program, caregivers are offered all 5 interventions – physical activity via yoga, computerized cognitive training via Brain HQ, wellness education, support groups, and memory support training. In our research trials supported by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), our investigators withheld one of the five interventions in HABIT in order to better understand how each component impacted caregivers’ sense of burden, quality of life, mood, anxiety, and self-efficacy.
Twelve months after the interventions, caregivers who did not receive the physical activity (yoga) intervention were more anxious, had more burden, and had decreased mood compared to caregivers who receive the intervention. In addition, caregivers who did not receive the wellness education intervention were more anxious than those who did receive it.
Overall, our results suggest that wellness education and yoga interventions are vital in either sustaining or improving caregiver burden, mood, and anxiety for up to 12 months after training.
Our results suggest that the core concepts of promoting self-care and resilience taught in the HABIT Program’s yoga and wellness education components are having a real, lasting impact on caregiver well-being.
I would like to thank the Mayo Clinic HABIT Team and research sites who made this trial and intervention possible. I would also like to recognize my mentor Dr. Glenn Smith and all the other principle investigators for their support and guidance. And most importantly, I would like to express my appreciation to the study participants for their time and dedication.
– Priscilla Amofa
(Thank you Priscilla!)
How did HABIT impact you as a caregiver? If you haven’t been through HABIT, what do you do to care for yourself and build your resilience as a caregiver?