A Feasibility Study on Smartphone Psychoeducation Application for Family Caregivers of People Living With Dementia
Chan, Sally Wai Chi
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Session presented on Saturday, July 23, 2016 and Sunday, July 24, 2016: Purpose: This feasibility study aims to develop and examine the effectiveness of a psychoeducation intervention delivered through a smartphone application (app) for family caregivers of people living with dementia (PLWD) in managing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Methods: A feasibility trial will be conducted. Intervention: Participants will receive an 8-week psycho-educational intervention delivered through mobile application. The content of app is developed partly based on a previous psychoeducation program conducted by the chief investigator with technical support from team members in Singapore. The app contains information kit, video, audio podcast and caregivers' daily monitoring of mood and BPSD. The control group receives routine care. Participants: A convenience sample of 60 participants will be recruited from Carers NSW and Alzheimer's Australia, and Memory Clinics in the Hunter Region, Australia and randomised into intervention and control group. Outcomes: Frequency and severity of BPSD, caregivers' reaction to BPSD, level of depression and burden, coping strategies and gain in caregiving will be measured at baseline and 8th week after the intervention. We will monitor the frequency of using the app. Caregivers' satisfaction will be measured by visual analogue scale. The intervention group will be interviewed for their appraisal of the app. Results: This paper will presented the process of mobile application development and the preliminary results of the study. Conclusion: The major advantages of app are accessibility, convenience and ease of use. The support offered by the app would enhance caregivers' quality of life and quality of care for the person living with dementia. This feasibility study will provide information on the clinical usefulness and potential efficacy of a mobile app psychoeducational intervention for family caregivers of PLWD in managing BPSD. If the intervention will achieve the possible outcomes in reducing caregiver burden, depression, distress related to BPSD and the frequency and severity of BPSD in PLWD, increasing coping strategies and gain in caregiving. It would improve the quality of care for the PLWD and relationships between family caregivers and PLWD, and reduce the unnecessary institutionalization for PLWD. Furthermore, it could outreach to caregivers who have no time to attend the traditional face-to-face support services. The mobile app will be made available to all caregivers of PLWD in Australia. It will also be translated into other languages for cross-cultural studies.