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Strategic Public Policy Research - Layman summaries of projects funded in 2008/2009 exercise

A Benefit-finding Intervention for Family Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer Disease
Principal Investigator: Prof Sheung-tak Cheng (EdUHK)

This 5-year project aims at developing an innovative benefit-finding treatment for reducing the stress and burden of caregivers for family members with Alzheimer disease. The treatment focuses on helping caregivers identify positive aspects of the caregiving experience through positive-thinking techniques as well as daily reflections of benefits, so as to enhance the caregivers' positive emotions and coping with stress. To evaluate this program, caregivers will be randomly assigned into an education program, a benefit-finding program, or a control condition. Treatments will be repeated after about a year to strengthen treatment effects. Moreover, because caregiving is performed in a familial context, we will recruit, in addition to individual caregivers, cross-generational caregivers so as to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of cross-generational interventions. Through six repeated measurements over a 30-month interval, we will assess outcomes in both caregivers and care-recipients. Key outcomes include physical and mental health in caregivers, and dementia symptoms in care-recipients.

Hong Kong Panel Study of Social Dynamics (HK-PSSD)
Principal Investigator: Prof Xiaogang Wu (HKUST)

The primary purpose of this project is to establish a panel survey to track changes in the social and economic status of households and individuals in Hong Kong. Using information on housing conditions, economic activities, household consumption as well as measures of individual members' education, marital status, employment history, mental and psychological wellbeing, and attitudes towards social and political issues, the survey will examine the impact of social and economic change on family life and individual mobility. The project is an important infrastructure building exercise for social science research in Hong Kong and for comparative studies of Chinese societies. The study will also facilitate the application of quantitative survey analysis to the drafting and implementation of policies to improve the quality of life of Hong Kong people.