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Int Psychogeriatr. 2015 Aug;27(8):1365-78. doi: 10.1017/S1041610215000423. Epub 2015 Apr 15.

Evaluation of DEM-DISC, customized e-advice on health and social support services for informal carers and case managers of people with dementia; a cluster randomized trial.

Author information

1
Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine,EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research,VU University Medical Centre,Van der Boechorststraat 7,1081 BT Amsterdam,the Netherlands.
2
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatististics,EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research,VU University Medical Centre,De Boelelaan 1118,1081 HV,Amsterdam,the Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few personalized e-interventions are available for informal and professional caregivers of people with dementia. The DEMentia Digital Interactive Social Chart (DEM-DISC) is an ICT tool to support customized disease management in dementia. The aim of this study was to improve and evaluate DEM-DISC, its user-friendliness and usefulness and to investigate the future implementation.

METHODS:

A cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) design was used with measurements at baseline, 6 and 12 months. A total of 73 informal caregivers of people with dementia, supported by 19 randomized case managers participated in the study. In the intervention group, both carers (n = 41) and case managers (n = 13) could access DEM-DISC during twelve months. The control group, 32 carers and 14 case managers, had no access to DEM-DISC. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten stakeholders.

RESULTS:

Informal caregivers who used DEM-DISC for twelve months reported an increased sense of competence than controls. A subgroup of users who frequently accessed DEM-DISC reported more met needs after six months than controls. Overall informal caregivers and case managers judged DEM-DISC as easy to learn and user-friendly.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrates that using DEM-DISC had a positive effect on the sense of competence and experienced (met) needs of informal carers. This shows the importance of user-friendly ICT solutions to assist carers in finding appropriate care services tailored to their specific situation and needs. For further implementation of DEM-DISC methods to keep the information updated is of great importance.

KEYWORDS:

ICT; dementia; intervention; psychosocial; self-management

PMID:
25872457
DOI:
10.1017/S1041610215000423
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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