McCann, Terence V., Songprakun, Wallapa and Stephenson, John (2016) Efficacy of a self-help manual in increasing resilience in carers of adults with depression in Thailand. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 25 (1). pp. 62-70. ISSN 1445-8330

Caring for a person with a mental illness can have adverse effects on caregivers; however, little is known about how best to help such caregivers. The aim of the present study was to examine the efficacy of a cognitive behaviour therapy-guided self-help manual in increasing resilience in caregivers of individuals with depression, in comparison to caregivers who receive routine support only. A randomized, controlled trial was conducted, following CONSORT guidelines, with 54 caregivers allocated to parallel intervention (self-help manual) (n = 27) or control (standard support) (n = 27) groups. Resilience was assessed at baseline, post-test (week 8), and follow up (week 12). Intention-to-treat analyses were undertaken. Repeated-measures ANOVA indicated a significant difference in resilience scores between the three time points, showing a large effect. Pairwise comparisons between intervention and control groups indicated resilience to be significantly different between baseline and post-test, and between baseline and follow up, but not between post-test and follow up. Overall, the intervention group showed a slightly greater increase in resilience over time than the control group; however, the time–group interaction was not significant. Guided self-help is helpful in improving caregivers’ resilience and could be used as an adjunct to the limited support provided to carers by mental health nurses and other clinicians.

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