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Acceptability of a guided self-help Internet intervention for family caregivers: mastery over dementia

  • Anne Margriet Pot (a1) (a2) (a3), Marco M. Blom (a4) and Bernadette M. Willemse (a1)

Abstract

Background:

The number of people with dementia is increasing rapidly. Providing care to a relative or friend with dementia may lead to serious mental health problems. Internet interventions may offer opportunities to improve the availability and accessibility of (cost)effective interventions to reduce family caregivers’ psychological distress. This study describes the acceptability of a guided self-help Internet intervention “mastery over dementia” (MoD), aimed at reducing caregivers’ psychological distress, in terms of reach, adherence and user evaluation.

Methods:

The sample for this study is the experimental group that participated in the (cost)effectiveness trial of MoD (N = 149). Data on characteristics of family caregivers and people with dementia, completion and user evaluation were used and analyzed with descriptive statistics, χ2and T-tests.

Results:

MoD reaches a wide variety of caregivers, also those aged 75+, having a relative with a recent diagnosis of dementia or living in a care home. However, the percentage of caregivers who did not complete all eight lessons was rather high (55.7%). Among the completers (N = 66; 44.3%) were significantly more spouses, caregivers living in the same household, older caregivers, and those caring for somebody with another formal diagnosis than Alzheimer's disease. Caregivers’ evaluation showed that females rated higher on the comprehensibility of the lessons and feedback and spent less time on the lessons.

Conclusion:

The guided self-help Internet intervention MoD is acceptable for a broad range of family caregivers of people with dementia. The next step is to substantiate its (cost)effectiveness.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Anne Margriet Pot, Professor of Clinical Geropsychology, Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction/Trimbos-institute, Program on Aging, PO 725, 3500 AS Utrecht, the Netherlands. Phone: +31 6 11294797; Fax: +31 30 2971111. Email: ampot@trimbos.nl.

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International Psychogeriatrics
  • ISSN: 1041-6102
  • EISSN: 1741-203X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-psychogeriatrics
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