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Comprehensive Older Adult and Caregiver Help (COACH): A person-centered caregiver intervention prevents elder mistreatment

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Dated: 2023
Date Published

This article introduces the COACH intervention and reports results from a pilot study that evaluated the evidence-informed intervention, assessing the program's impact on its primary outcome, preventing elder mistreatment, and four proximal outcomes: reducing caregiver depression, anxiety, and burden, and increasing caregiver quality of life.


Elder mistreatment (EM) harms individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole. Yet research on interventions is lagging, and no rigorous studies demonstrating effective prevention have been published. This pilot study examines whether a first-of-its-kind coaching intervention reduced the experience of EM among older adults with chronic health conditions, including dementia. The authors used a double-blind, randomized controlled trial to test a strengths-based person-centered caregiver support intervention, developed from evidence-based approaches used in other types of family violence. Participants were family caregivers of older adults who were members of Kaiser Permanente; they completed surveys at baseline, post-test, and 3-month follow-up. The primary outcome was caregiver-reported EM; additional proximal outcomes were caregiver burden, quality-of-life, anxiety, and depression. Nonparametric tests were used to make comparisons between treatment and control groups and across time points. Results indicated that the treatment group had no EM after intervention completion, assessed at three-month follow-up, a significantly lower rate than the control group which was demonstrated to be 23.1 percent. In this pilot study, the authors found that the COACH caregiver support intervention successfully reduced EM of persons living with chronic illness, including dementia. Next steps will include testing the intervention's mechanism in a fully powered RCT and scaling the intervention for testing in a variety of care delivery systems. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2023