Pamela Durepos

Biography | Biographie

Dr. Pam Durepos is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton Campus. Her program of research focuses on enhancing mental health and palliative care for persons with dementia and their family caregivers. Dr. Durepos’ project is funded by Mental Health Research Canada and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation.

Presentation Summary | Sommaire de la présentation

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Tele-Counselling for Family Caregivers: Evaluating a new program with the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick | Thérapie d’acceptation et d’engagement (TAE) : Suivi psychologique à distance

The Alzheimer Society of NB (ASNB) launched a new Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Tele-counselling program for family caregivers of persons with dementia in February 2020 which has yet to be evaluated. The aim of the program is to increase access to high quality psychotherapy for caregivers struggling with mental health concerns by offering the program remotely through digital technology, in both French and English at no cost. ACT has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety and burden in caregivers worldwide but has never been investigated in Canada. Our team is launching a pilot, feasibility, randomized control trial to investigate the feasibility of implementation and potential effect of the program to inform scale-up outside of NB. We will begin recruitment to the study in April. We aim to recruit 80 family caregivers who will be randomized to:

  1. a usual care control group, or
  2. the ACT program intervention group.

Participants in the intervention group will attend 6-8 tele-counselling sessions via videoconference, text or telephone (based on their preference). Outcome measures for potential effect will be evaluated pre-post Usual Care and the Intervention Program and will include: caregiver burden; depression, anxiety and stress; engagement in meaningful activities; acceptance and action. Feasibility will be explored through qualitative interviews, retention and recruitment rates, perceived program usability and satisfaction. This project is funded by the Mental Health Research Commission of Canada in partnership with NBHRF.