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A Novel Technology to Disseminate WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan) to Dementia Caregivers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AG084405-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41AG084405
Amount: $191,913.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIA
Solicitation Number: PAS22-197
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-09-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-02-28
Small Business Information
Madison, CT 06443-2215
United States
DUNS: 047173925
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 (203) 318-8100
Business Contact
Phone: (203) 318-8100
Research Institution
NEW HAVEN, CT 06520-8327
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

1 Approximately 6.5 million Americans aged 65 and older live with dementia, supported by more than 11 million2 unpaid family caregivers. These numbers are projected to rise exponentially in the coming decades fueling the3 need to develop scalable ways to support dementia caregivers. The need to empower dementia caregivers to4 continue providing care while maintaining their own health and well-being is recognized in public health5 literature and in Strategy 3.B of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. While effective caregiver6 interventions exist, significant implementation barriers also exist. Many interventions have not been translated7 for widespread use. Most require delivery by time-strapped healthcare professionals, which is problematic8 given eldercare workforce shortages and medical delegation trends. The upshot is family caregivers are9 typically left unsupported to determine ways to manage complex care while maintaining their own well-being.
10 One way to improve the capacity of dementia caregivers to manage caregiving responsibilities and bolster their
11 well-being is by pinpointing where they have control and where to focus efforts to attain their wishes or goals. A
12 brief, easy to learn 4-step intervention called Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan (WOOP) does just that. WOOP is
13 a strategy that helps individuals set challenging but attainable goals and focus on internal obstacles over which
14 they have control. This helps them persist in goal-directed behavior, improving the likelihood they will attain the
15 wish or goal. WOOP, known scientifically as Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII), has
16 been rigorously developed over 20 years, translated into multiple languages, and used effectively in more than
17 100 countries worldwide across multiple domains such as career achievement, health, and interpersonal
18 relations. Recent preliminary work demonstrated WOOP to be effective for dementia caregivers. In a
19 randomized controlled trial, dementia caregivers taught to use WOOP via in-person one-on-one sessions and
20 phone coaching experienced reduced stress, reduced depressive symptoms, and increased positive emotions
21 and quality of life. What remains unknown is whether tailoring WOOP for dementia caregivers and delivering it
22 to groups via novel technology is feasible and effective. In this effort, Borrow My Glasses, a gerontology
23 education company and woman owned small business teams with research institute Yale University and
24 consultants including the developer of WOOP, healthcare professionals, and others with lived experience as
25 dementia caregivers. SPECIFIC AIMS: This STTR Phase I proposal uses human centered design to AIM 1:
26 translate WOOP into a novel technology prototype tailored to the needs of dementia caregivers and test it for
27 usability. AIM 2: conduct iterative proof-of-concept testing to evaluate the appropriateness, acceptability,
28 feasibility, and perceived benefit of disseminating WOOP to groups of dementia caregivers via web-based e-
29 learning technology. Overall feasibility in Phase 1 will inform a randomized controlled trial in Phase 2 to further
30 tailor the design, strategy, and readiness to scale WOOP for Dementia Caregivers commercially.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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