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The CARE Study:

Caregiving for a Spouse with a Memory Disorder 


What is the purpose of the study?

Caring for a spouse or partner with a memory disorder can be quite stressful. Studies have linked the stresses of caregiving to a person’s long-term health. This study addresses how your involvement in your spouse/partner’s care affects your body’s immune system (certain kinds of white blood cells that protect against infections and cancer), as well as your mood.

What does the study involve?
You can participate as a caregiver if you are living with and providing care for a spouse or partner who has a previously diagnosed memory disorder (“caregivers”). You can also participate as a “control” or noncaregiving participant if you are living with your spouse or partner but NOT providing any care to a child or impaired adult; data from caregivers and noncaregivers will be compared to see if there are psychological and immune differences related to the stresses of caregiving.

If you participate in the CARE Study, you will have three visits over the course of two years. These visits may be done at The OSU Wexner Medical Center or at your home. About a year after your initial visit, you will have a second visit, and a final visit a year after that. Each visit will take about 2-2.5 hours.

What will happen if I take part in this study?     
If you are the caregiver or noncaregiver:

At each annual visit, you will be interviewed, you will complete questionnaires, and you will have your blood drawn. You will be asked about depression and anxiety symptoms you have experienced. The questionnaires you will complete are of a personal nature regarding your medications, health conditions, mood, feelings, health behaviors, personality, and your relationship with your partner. During each of the annual blood draws, we will draw 2.37 oz., or just over 1/4 cup of blood from a vein in your arm by a trained study staff member.

If you are the spouse of the caregiver:

We will access your neurology medical chart to get your scores from the routine memory tests you are taking every six months.

Who is eligible to be in the study?
You may be eligible for this study as a caregiver if you:    

  • Are living with and providing at least 5 hours of home care per week caring for a spouse or partner who has a previously diagnosed memory disorder

You may be eligible for this study as a noncaregiver if you:  

  • Have lived with your spouse/partner for at least 2 years
  • Are NOT providing any care for a friend or family member (no grandchildren, etc.)

You are not eligible for this study if you: 

  • Are pregnant or nursing
  • Have cancer or have received chemotherapy/radiation treatment within the past year 

Will I be paid for participating?

You will receive $60 for your time for your first visit, $65 for your second visit, and $70 for your third visit for your time, for a total of $195.

Who are the investigators?
Our investigators are scientists and physicians in the Ohio State University Colleges of Medicine and Publc Health. Our project is a joint venture of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, The Center for Cognitive and Memory Disorders, the Departments of Family and Internal Medicine, and the School of Public Health.                                            

Please consider participating!

If you would like to participate in this study, please contact us. We would be very happy to discuss our research with you and give you more specific information. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 614-293-4736 or email us at stressandhealth@osumc.edu.

Need more info?
Click here to read the consent form and the HIPAA privacy policy (pdf)

Ready to apply!
Click here to fill out the application.                                

If you know someone who might want to participate, please give them our contact information - we welcome referrals!