Care to plan: An online tool that offers tailored support to dementia caregivers

Joseph E. Gaugler, Mark Reese, Richard Tanler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of the Study: Even with the advent of evidence-based interventions, an ongoing concern in clinical practice is how to help dementia caregivers determine what type of support is best for them absent a laborious process of trial and error. To help address this practice gap, the present study developed and tested the feasibility of "Care to Plan" (CtP), an online resource for dementia caregivers (e.g., relatives or unpaid nonrelatives) that generates tailored support recommendations. Design and Methods: Care to Plan was developed using an iterative prototype and testing process with the assistance of a 29-member Community Advisory Board. A parallel-convergent mixed methods design (quan + QUAL) was used that included a post-CtP survey and a brief semistructured interview to capture in-depth information on the utility and feasibility of CtP. The sample included 30 caregivers of persons with dementia. Results: The integrated qualitative and quantitative data indicated that CtP was simple and easy to understand, the streamlined visual layout facilitated utility, and the individualized recommendations could meet the needs of users. Key barriers to use included the need for additional features (e.g., video introductions of caregiver support types) to further guide dementia caregivers' potential use of tailored support. Implications: The multiple data sources underscore the high feasibility and utility of CtP. By describing, identifying, and prioritizing support, CtP could help to improve the care planning process for dementia caregivers. Future dissemination efforts should aim to demonstrate how CtP can be implemented seamlessly within current family caregiver support systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1174
Number of pages14
JournalGerontologist
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants K02AG029480 (National Institute on Aging), R03HS020948 (Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality), and K18HS022445 (Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality) to Dr. J. E. Gaugler.

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Family caregiving
  • Intervention
  • Online
  • Personalized
  • Tailored support

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