Effectiveness of an Online Training and Support Program (iSupport) for Informal Dementia Caregivers

2019-10-01 07:55:05 | BioPortfolio


Informal caregivers of people with dementia are at greater risk of developing physical and mental health problems when compared to the general population and to informal caregivers of people with other chronic diseases. Internet-based interventions have been explored in its potential to minimize the negative effects of caring, accounting for their ubiquitous nature, convenient delivery, potential scalability and presumed (cost)effectiveness. iSupport is a self-help online program developed by the World Health Organization to provide education, skills training and support to informal caregivers of people with dementia. This intervention study aims to determine the effectiveness of a Portuguese culturally adapted version of iSupport to decrease caregiver burden, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and to improve quality of life, positive aspects of caregiving and general self-efficacy. The study has two arms: access to "iSupport" for three months or access to an education-only e-book. iSupport is grounded in problem-solving and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and it consists of 23 lessons organized around 5 modules: 'Introduction to dementia'; 'Being a carer', 'Caring for me', 'Providing everyday care', and 'Dealing with behaviour changes'.

One hundred and eighty four participants will be recruited by referral from national Alzheimer's associations. Participants will be included if they match the following criteria: being 18 years or older and provide e-consent; being a self-reported non-paid caregiver for at least 6 months; caring for a person with a formal diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease; being skilled to use internet; and experience a clinically relevant level of burden or depression or anxiety symptoms. Data is collected online, resorting to self-administered instruments, at baseline, 3 and 6 months after baseline. A two-sided alternative hypothesis was assumed for this study: Mean caregiver burden at 3 months after baseline is different in informal caregivers of people with dementia assigned to the iSupport program as in those assigned to a minimal education-only intervention. Findings from this intervention study will offer evidence to support an informed decision making on scaling up iSupport as a new intervention program with minimal costs aimed at minimizing the psychological distress of informal caregivers of people with dementia in Portugal and elsewhere.

Study Design


Caregiver Subjective Burden


iSupport for dementia - European-Portuguese version, e-book (comparator)


Not yet recruiting


Universidade do Porto

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-01T07:55:05-0400

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