Using Technology to Deliver Evidence-Based Interventions to Alzheimer Caregivers

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Department of Health and Human Services
Award Year:
Phase I
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Small Business Information
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
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() -
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DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This proposed Phase I STTR project is a collaboration between an Illinois small business, Upstairs Solutions LLC, dedicated to the design and delivery of high-quality online healthcare training products, and researchers from the College of Nursing, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. The long-term goal of this STTR project is to develop web-based technology (eLearning) for family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias that will effe ctively increase their competency to provide care and improve their mental health. Phase I will involve three components. 1) Develop a prototype web-based, interactive, multimedia education and training module (Managing Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia). Ba sed on the ADDIE model of instructional design, we will use an iterative development and evaluation process to ensure that the final product is acceptable to caregiver end-users and effective in increasing their knowledge and skills about the module conten t. Specifically, we will 2) conduct two rounds of usability testing of the web- based module with 30 caregivers and data from the formative evaluation will be used to revise the module. 3) We will then conduct summative evaluation research with 40 caregive rs to test two hypotheses. Family caregivers who complete the online module on managing behavioral symptoms of dementia will: Hypothesis 1) respond positively to the eLearning experience as assessed by quantitative measures of ease of use and engagement an d Hypothesis 2) increase their scores on a pre- to post-test measure of knowledge acquisition (learning) and knowledge application (skills). Response to the eLearning experience (Hypothesis 1) will be assessed with a 20-item online quantitative survey and a brief semi-structured qualitative interview conducted by telephone. Caregivers' knowledge and skills related to the module content (Hypothesis 2) will be assessed online before and after viewing the module with the 15-item Behavior Management Skill-Revis ed (BMS-R). Upstairs Solutions learning management system will track the number of times each caregiver viewed the module, the length of time at each viewing, and the total viewing time. Analysis of data from the summative evaluation will be used to determ ine feasibility. A mean score of less than 60 on the measure of response to the eLearning experience and a significant or marginally significant mean increase in the measure of knowledge and skills will provide evidence of feasibility and preliminary effec tiveness of Phase I and support for Phase II activities. Lessons learned in Phase I will be used to develop the remainder of the intervention modules in Phase II, to develop Spanish language versions, and to conduct a randomized controlled trial with white , black, and Hispanic caregivers to determine effectiveness of these modules to improve caregiver knowledge and skills related to providing care, to decrease caregiver stress, and to improve long-term (3- and 12-month) caregiver mental health outcomes. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Family caregiving is a growing public health concern and caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias need appropriate, timely, and ongoing training to successfully meet their caregiving responsibilities. The National Institutes of Health have invested considerable financial resources into testing caregiver interventions but successful interventions reach only a small proportion of caregivers. This project represents a new application of existing technology th at will produce a series of marketable web-based programs called Caregiver Take Care that can reach a diverse population of family caregivers, including isolated, minority, and other underserved caregiver populations.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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