Couples Lived Experience


This is a longitudinal study with regular quantitative assessments of all participants every six months for 3 years. The quantitative portion of the study will recruit couples, consisting of individuals over the age of 65 who are in a committed relationship. Both members of the couple must be willing to participate at baseline. The assessment is in two parts. In the first part, each member of the couple will be asked the following: demographic information, mental health history, self-reported physical and emotional health, measures of emotional and mental health, personality, relationship and attachment style, social support and self-efficacy. Then each member of the study couple will be asked a series of questions to determine whether they consider themselves a caregiver. If they do, individuals will be asked to respond to additional caregiver questionnaires. Follow-ups will occur every six months for the study couples for a total of three years from the baseline visit. Each visit, the entire assessment except for demographic questions, will be re-administered to each individual in the couple. At the end of each questionnaire battery, individuals will be screened for cognitive impairment and those who are in the middle to advanced stages of dementia will no longer participate. Recruitment will end when 600 individuals (300 couples,150 couples at each site) are enrolled in the longitudinal portion of the study. All study visits will be conducted virtually via Zoom or WebEx video conferencing. Analyses will be conducted to determine the association between changes in dyadic relationship and changes in mental health and cognitive outcomes, to elucidate how relationship characteristics impact health and well-being as perceived by each member of the dyad.


  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Dementia of Alzheimer Type


Eligible Ages
Over 65 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  1. Community dwelling older adult aged 65 years or older 2. Must speak English as the study measures are not validated in other languages. 3. Must express intent to commit to ongoing participation in longitudinal study with assessments every 6 months for 3 years, 4. Is part of a couple and their spouse/partner is also willing to participate in the project. All couples, regardless of sexual orientation or gender preference are eligible to participate 5. Both members of the couple must cohabitate at the time of enrollment. 6. Must have stable internet connection and capability to stream video with audio. 7. A subset of the longitudinal study participants (selected at random) will be invited to be participate in a focus group upon completion of the last (3 year) quantitative assessment. These participants must be willing to have their comments recorded.

Exclusion Criteria

  1. Any individual with a prior diagnosis of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder. 2. Individual is unable to complete the informed consent process 3. Any individual with a prior diagnosis of a chronic disabling medical condition that would make it impossible to participate in a focus group via Zoom or WebEx.

Study Design

Study Type
Observational Model
Time Perspective

Recruiting Locations

Boston University
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730
Andrew Nguyen

More Details

NYU Langone Health

Study Contact

Rebecca Salant