Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Qualitative studies and single-case studies were excluded. The included studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs), non-randomised controlled trials and cohort studies.
Specific interventions included in the review
Inclusion criteria were not specified in terms of the interventions but it was clear that interventions that targeted caregivers were eligible for inclusion. The included studies evaluated group cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), behavioural management techniques (BMT), the provision of information technology (IT) support for caregivers, exercise therapy, the provision of additional professional support for caregivers, respite care, relaxation and yoga, individual CBT, group psychotherapy, full-time care for the caregiver and current statutory UK service provision. Control treatments, where these existed, included support group, usual treatment, workshops, refusals, waiting list, information, nutritional support and non- users of interventions.
Participants included in the review
Studies of informal caregivers of people with any type of dementia were eligible for inclusion. Some of the included studies restricted participants to more anxious caregivers; other studies reported no such restrictions. Some studies recruited participants through media advertisements, while others recruited participants who had sought help.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies that used validated measures to assess anxiety were eligible for inclusion. The included studies used a variety of validated measures of anxiety; the most commonly used was the Speilberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (details of all measures were reported). Outcomes were assessed from immediately post-treatment up to 15 months.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.