Evaluation of long-term effects of an individualized short-term telephone intervention (seven sessions), based on a comprehensive cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach. The study goal was to evaluate the maintenance of intervention effects regarding well-being, quality of life, and health at two years post treatment.
Participants (n = 105) were (partly) randomized after baseline assessment in a two-arm study (intervention, control group/usual care). Depressive symptoms were assessed with the German version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Caregivers' physical complaints were measured with the Gieβener Beschwerdebogen (GBB-24), and quality of life with the World Health Organization quality of life -BREF (WHOQOL-BREF). Emotional well-being and perceived health status were assessed using thermometer scaling. Data were analyzed by intention-to-treat analyses, including for those who terminated the intervention prematurely but still delivered data, using ANCOVAs.
Long-term intervention effects were found for emotional well-being (p = 0.019). For the subgroup of caregivers who were still caring at home at follow-up, the intervention led to an increased health status (p = 0.023), fewer bodily complaints (global measure p= 0.014, rheumatic pain p = 0.027, heart trouble p = 0.042), and a higher quality of life (overall p = 0.044 and subscale environment p = 0.030).
The short-term CBT intervention via telephone showed long-term effects two years after treatment on emotional well-being, health status, bodily complaints, and quality of life.