Currently submitted to: JMIR Aging
Date Submitted: Jul 23, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: Jul 26, 2019 - Sep 6, 2019
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Person with Dementia-informal caregiver dyad wellbeing: Implications of a Connected Health platform in Dementia home care.
Dementia is a neurodegenerative chronic condition characterized by a progressive decline in a person’s memory, thinking, learning skills, and ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs). Previous research has indicated that there are many types of technology interventions available in the literature that have shown promising results in improving the disease progression, disease management, and the PwD and their informal caregivers wellbeing, thus facilitating the Dementia care and living. Technology driven home care interventions, such as Connected Health (CH), could offer a convenient and low-cost alternative to traditional home care, providing the informal caregiver with the support they may need at home while caring for a PwD, improving their physical and mental wellbeing.
This study reports a longitudinal quantitative analysis of a preliminary set of PwD-caregiver dyads involved in the “Connected HEalth Sustaining home Stay” in Dementia project (CHESS). We aim to understand the implications of a CH platform on the wellbeing of the PwD-informal caregiver dyads, and to create a multidimensional wellbeing profile of the PwD-informal caregiver dyad.
During a year time, comprehensive assessments to evaluate the PwD-informal caregivers’ wellbeing were conducted every three months following the CHESS project protocol, using the international and standardized validated questionnaires. Participants demographic information was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented by means and standard deviation. Non-parametric Friedman test was used to analyse outcomes changes and progression in the PwD-caregiver dyads, and to determine if those changes were statistically significant.
There were no significant changes in the PwD or their caregivers’ wellbeing over the year of follow up, with the majority of the PwD-caregiver dyads remaining stable. The only instances in which significant changes were observed were for the functional status in the PwD and sleep quality in their caregivers. In each of these measures post hoc pairwise comparisons did not indicate that the changes observed were related to the deployment of the CHESS platform.
Connected Health can have a role in helping Dementia home care and to promote the PwD and their informal caregivers’ wellbeing, but our platform did not provide that to our participants. More research needs to be conducted in the long term to understand these population wellbeing progression, factors of influence, and the potential impact that new technologies can have on it.
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