WeCareAdvisor™: The Development of a Caregiver-focused, Web-based Program to Assess and Manage Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are nearly universal in dementia and associated with multiple negative outcomes. Current real-world management is largely pharmacologic, despite poor risk/benefit. The WeCareAdvisor was designed to enable family caregivers to assess, manage, and track BPSD using nonpharmacologic strategies.Design:
In-depth qualitative data were collected from family caregivers of people with dementia to inform: (1) style of approach and “look and feel” of the tool, and (2) the types of psychoeducation most needed by caregivers.Results:
We conducted 4 focus groups and a technology survey (n=26) as well as additional individual semistructured interviews (n=12) with family caregivers. Main themes of the qualitative work included: (1) need to minimize difficulty and training time; (2) importance of “one-stop shopping” for information; and (3) necessity for information to be tailored to the caregiver and person with dementia. This information was then combined with effective existing evidence-based behavioral strategies to create a web-based tailored caregiver-support tool.Conclusions:
The WeCareAdvisor was designed with input on functionality and content by end-users, family caregivers. The randomized controlled trial of WeCareAdvisor will test whether the tool improves outcomes including caregiver upset and burden and frequency and severity of BPSD.