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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.

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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.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatististics,EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research,VU University Medical Centre,De Boelelaan 1118,1081 HV,Amsterdam,the Netherlands.



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.


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.


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.


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.


ICT; dementia; intervention; psychosocial; self-management

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