Online interventions for caregivers of people with dementia: a systematic review.

Actas Esp Psiquiatr 2017 May 1;45(3):116-26. Epub 2017 May 1.

Assistance Center of Zamora. Department of Psychiatry.

Introduction: The elderly population is growing driven by the increase in life expectancy, which in turn entails an increase in the number of people with chronic diseases such as dementia. The vast majority of people suffering from this illness is assisted by informal caregivers, who play a key role in fulfilling the patients’ needs, promoting the possibility for people with dementia to live in their home environment. The Internet as a support tool in psychoeducational programs can significantly improve accessibility of them, becoming a currently consolidated interactive resource for the training of patients with acute and chronic diseases, and their caregivers.

Population And Method: A literature search of the Pubmed, PsyINFO, Scopus, SciELO and Psicodoc databases was performed to systematically review those studies related to web-based interventions for informal caregivers of people with dementia or cognitive impairment.

Results: On balance, the studies show a significant improvement after the psychoeducational intervention. Specifically, the improvement in caregivers’ wellbeing can be observed in the measures for self-efficacy, anxiety and depression.

Conclusions: Online interventions are a promising strategy for the care of people with dementia. It would be advisable to perform further randomized trials to assess the reasons for lack of adherence to intervention, as well as usability studies to test the different software programs used.
May 2017
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