La Trobe
1331149_Blackberry,I_2023.pdf (2.6 MB)

Virtual Dementia-Friendly Communities (Verily Connect) Stepped-Wedge Cluster-Randomised Controlled Trial: Improving Dementia Caregiver Wellbeing in Rural Australia

Download (2.6 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-10, 02:31 authored by Irene BlackberryIrene Blackberry, Tshepo RasekabaTshepo Rasekaba, Debra Morgan, Kayla RoyalsKayla Royals, Jennene Greenhill, David Perkins, Megan O’Connell, Mohammad Hamiduzzaman, Margaret WinboltMargaret Winbolt, Ainsley RobinsonAinsley Robinson, Hilary Davis, Clare WildingClare Wilding
Caring for people living with dementia often leads to social isolation and decreased support for caregivers. This study investigated the effect of a Virtual Dementia-Friendly Rural Communities (Verily Connect) model on social support and demand for caregivers of people living with dementia. The co-designed intervention entailed an integrated website and mobile application, peer-support videoconference, and technology learning hubs. This mixed-methods, stepped-wedge, cluster-randomised controlled trial was conducted with 113 participants from 12 rural communities in Australia. Caregiver data were collected using MOS-SSS and ZBI between 2018 and 2020. The relationship between post-intervention social support with age, years of caring, years since diagnosis, and duration of intervention were explored through correlation analysis and thin plate regression. Google Analytics were analysed for levels of engagement, and cost analysis was performed for implementation. Results showed that caregivers’ perception of social support (MOS-SSS) increased over 32 weeks (p = 0.003) and there was a marginal trend of less care demand (ZBI) among caregivers. Better social support was observed with increasing caregiver age until 55 years. Younger caregivers (aged <55 years) experienced the greatest post-intervention improvement. The greatest engagement occurred early in the trial, declining sharply thereafter. The Verily Connect model improved caregivers’ social support and appeared to ease caregiver demand.

Funding

This research was funded by the Australian Government, Department of Health, Dementia and Aged Care Services (DACS), opportunity 1: support for existing and emerging challenges in dementia, grant number 4-4Z3E23H.

History

Publication Date

2023-08-25

Journal

Geriatrics

Volume

8

Issue

5

Article Number

85

Pagination

18p.

Publisher

Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

ISSN

2308-3417

Rights Statement

© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles

    Licence

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC