University of Pittsburgh
March 2, 2006

Pitt Researcher to Lecture on Challenges That Face Minority and White Caregivers of Dementia Patients

Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Richard Schulz, director of Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research, will speak at the University of Pittsburgh from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 15 in the School of Social Work Conference Center, 2017 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

His lecture, titled "Enhancing the Quality of Life of Latino, Black, and White Dementia Caregivers: The REACH II Randomized Controlled Trial," is part of the Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP) Reed Smith Spring 2006 Speaker Series. It is free to the public; lunch will be provided, and registration is not required.

Schulz, who is also director of gerontology and associate director of the Institute on Aging at the University, has been involved primarily in researching the physical and emotional problems of the elderly as well as those who care for them. The REACH II Randomized Controlled Trial assessed the efficacy of a psychosocial/behavioral intervention designed to improve the quality of life of caregivers of patients with dementia. The recently completed intervention was tested with Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics.

"The three groups differ in many ways in their role as caregiver," says Schulz, explaining that Latino and Black caregivers generally have fewer financial resources and are less informed about Alzheimer's disease and the community resources available to them or the patients. Caregivers in those groups also tend to be younger, more often a child of the patient, rather than a spouse.

Schulz' landmark study, "How TLC Makes You Sick: Caring for Loved Ones Endangers Health," was the first research to show that being a strained caregiver is a risk factor for mortality. His findings were recently replicated in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month.

CRSP, housed in Pitt's School of Social Work, holds two annual Speaker Series to provide an opportunity for faculty, students, and community members to engage in race-related discussions of mutual interest. For more information, call 412-624-7382 or visit www.crsp.pitt.edu.

###

3/3/06/tmw