Effectiveness of an internet intervention for family caregivers of people with dementia: Results of a randomized controlled trial

Blom, Marco M., Zarit, Steven H., Groot Zwaaftink, Rob B. M., Cuijpers, Pim and Pot, Anne Margriet (2015) Effectiveness of an internet intervention for family caregivers of people with dementia: Results of a randomized controlled trial. PLoS One, 10 2: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116622


Author Blom, Marco M.
Zarit, Steven H.
Groot Zwaaftink, Rob B. M.
Cuijpers, Pim
Pot, Anne Margriet
Title Effectiveness of an internet intervention for family caregivers of people with dementia: Results of a randomized controlled trial
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2015-02-13
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0116622
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue 2
Total pages 11
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background
The World Health Organization stresses the importance of accessible and (cost)effective caregiver support, given the expected increase in the number of people with dementia and the detrimental impact on the mental health of family caregivers.

Methods
This study assessed the effectiveness of the Internet intervention ‘Mastery over Dementia’. In a RCT, 251 caregivers, of whom six were lost at baseline, were randomly assigned to two groups. Caregivers in the experimental group (N = 149) were compared to caregivers who received a minimal intervention consisting of e-bulletins (N = 96). Outcomes were symptoms of depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale: CES-D) and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale: HADS-A). All data were collected via the Internet, and an intention-to-treat analysis was carried out.

Results
Almost all caregivers were spouses or children (in-law). They were predominantly female and lived with the care recipient in the same household. Age of the caregivers varied from 26 to 87 years. Level of education varied from primary school to university, with almost half of them holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Regression analyses showed that caregivers in the experimental group showed significantly lower symptoms of depression (p = .034) and anxiety (p = .007) post intervention after adjustment for baseline differences in the primary outcome scores and the functional status of the patients with dementia. Effect sizes were moderate for symptoms of anxiety (.48) and small for depressive symptoms (.26).

Conclusions
The Internet course ‘Mastery over Dementia’ offers an effective treatment for family caregivers of people with dementia reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The results of this study justify further development of Internet interventions for family caregivers of people with dementia and suggest that such interventions are promising for keeping support for family caregivers accessible and affordable. The findings are even more promising because future generations of family caregivers will be more familiar with the Internet.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 03 Mar 2015, 00:25:03 EST by System User on behalf of School of Psychology