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Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:5726465. doi: 10.1155/2016/5726465. Epub 2016 Dec 28.

UnderstAID, an ICT Platform to Help Informal Caregivers of People with Dementia: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study.

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Research, Development and Innovation Department, Gerontological Complex La Milagrosa, Provincial Association of Pensioners and Retired People (UDP) from A Coruña, Avenida de Cadiz-5, 15008 A Coruña, Spain.
Center for Research in Ageing and Dementia, Faculty of Health Sciences, VIA University College, 8200 Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Clinical Psychology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 70 Bukowska Street, 60-812 Poznan, Poland.
Department Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 135/147 28 Czerwca 1956r. Street, 61-545 Poznan, Poland; Ortopedyczno-Rehabilitacyjny Szpital Kliniczny nr 4 im. W. Degi., Poznań, Poland.
Gerontology Research Group, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidade da Coruña, Campus de Oza, 15071 A Coruña, Spain.


Information and communications technology (ICT) could support ambient assisted living (AAL) based interventions to provide support to informal caregivers of people with dementia, especially when they need to cope with their feelings of overburden or isolation. An e-learning platform (understAID application) was tested by informal caregivers from Denmark, Poland, and Spain to explore the technical and the pedagogical specifications, as well as evaluating the impact of its use on the psychological status of the participants. 61 informal caregivers completed the study taking part in the experimental (n = 30) or control (n = 31) groups. 33.3% of the caregivers were satisfied with the application and around 50% of the participants assessed it as technically and pedagogically acceptable. After using understAID the caregivers in the experimental group significantly decreased their depressive symptomatology according to the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale, but a possible benefit on their feelings of competence and satisfaction with the caring experience was also observed. The low scores obtained for satisfaction were highlighting issues that need to be modified to meet the informal caregivers' needs in national, social, and cultural context. Some possible biases are also considered and discussed to be taken into account in future improvements of understAID application.

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