Integrating Family Caregivers of People With Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementias into Clinical Appointments: Identifying Potential Best Practices

Joan M. Griffin, Catherine Riffin, Rachel D. Havyer, Virginia S. Biggar, Meryl Comer, Theresa L. Frangiosa, Lauren R. Bangerter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Family caregiver engagement in clinical encounters can promote relationship-centered care and optimize outcomes for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). Little is known, however, about effective ways for health care providers to engage family caregivers in clinical appointments to provide the highest quality care. We describe what caregivers of people with ADRD and people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) consider potential best practices for engaging caregivers as partners in clinical appointments. Seven online focus groups were convened. Three groups included spousal caregivers (n = 42), three included non-spousal caregivers (n = 36), and one included people with MCI (n = 15). Seven potential best practices were identified, including the following: “acknowledge caregivers’ role and assess unmet needs and capacity to care” and “communicate directly with person with ADRD yet provide opportunities for caregivers to have separate interactions with providers.” Participants outlined concrete steps for providers and health care systems to improve care delivery quality for people with ADRD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • best practices
  • online focus groups
  • patient-centered care
  • relationship-centered care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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