ESR7: Assessing the effects of a cognitive-Behavioural Conjoint Therapy for caregivers

Work package 2
ESR Michelle Semonella
Supervisor Prof. Noa Vilchinsky & Prof. Rachel Dekel
Co-supervisor Prof. Mario Mikulincer & Prof. Gerhard Andersson
Host institution Bar Ilan University, Israel
Contact ESR coming soon
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Objectives: To investigate the effectiveness of CBCT for caregiver dyads.

CBCT is a manualized problem-solving intervention that focuses on the needs of both members of the caregiving dyad. It was originally developed for patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and their spouses, and there is ample empirical support for the effectiveness of CBTC in couples dealing with PTSD and other stressors. The Bar Ilan group has adapted the protocol to caregiver-care recipient dyads in Israel. CBCT is innovative in that it capitalizes on the caregiver-care recipient relationship as a source of support for both dyad members and uses problem-solving ability to issues that arise from the caregiving situation. Although more dyadic interventions have been developed and tested (mostly for couples coping with illness), there is a lack of studies that compare dyadic interventions with individual interventions. Therefore, we will conduct an RCT to test the effectiveness of CBCT for caregiver dyads (either spouse-patient or adult child caregiver-care receiving parent). Caregiver dyads will be randomized to either CBCT or therapy for caregivers only (i.e., care recipients complete assessments, but do not participate in the intervention). Intention-to-treat analyses with respect to caregivers’ psychological, behavioural and physical outcomes will be measured. The ESR will also explore whether and how CBCT can be adapted into an online intervention.

Expected Results

By examining the potential effect of the intervention on caregivers we will be able to provide our stakeholders with an evidence based treatment which may ameliorate caregivers’ distress and help them better cope with the demands and difficulties of their partners.


Bertuzzi, V., Semonella, M., Bruno, D., Manna, C., Edbrook-Childs, J., Giusti, E. M., ... & Pietrabissa, G. (2021). Psychological support interventions for healthcare providers and informal caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review of the literature. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(13), 6939.

Semonella, M., Vilchinsky, N., Dakel, R., Biliunaite, I., Pietrabissa, G., & Andersson, G. (2020). SOSteniamoci: An internet-based intervention to support informal caregivers. In PSYCHOBIT.


Host Secondment supervisor Aim Duration
Linköpings University, Sweden Prof. Gerhard Andersson To learn how to adapt CBCT into an online intervention 3 months
The Social Neurosceince lab, Brain Science, BIU University, Israel Ophir Shahaf To learn about the technical and commercial aspects of translating knowledge into an eHealth programme 9 months