Psychiatry - Research Publications

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    Start-Online: Acceptability And Feasibility Of An Online Intervention For Carers Of People Living With Dementia
    Loi, S ; Tropea, J ; Gaffy, E ; Panayiotou, A ; Capon, H ; Chiang, J ; Bryant, C ; Doyle, C ; Kelly, M ; Livingston, G ; Dow, B ( 2021)


    With increasing numbers of people living with dementia relying on family to care for them at home, there is an urgent need for practical and evidence-based programs to support carers in maintaining their mental health and well-being. The objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a modified STrAtegies for RelaTives (START) program delivered online (START-online).


    A mixed methods non-blinded evaluation of START-online (using Zoom as videoconferencing platform) for acceptability and feasibility (completion rates and qualitative feedback through surveys and focus groups) and quantitative evaluation. This occurred at the National Ageing Research Institute, in metropolitan Victoria, Australia.


    : Twenty-nine eligible carers were referred, 20 (70%) consented to the study. Of these 16 (80%) completed all eight sessions, two completed only three sessions, and two withdrew. Carers’ qualitative feedback indicated that the therapist interaction was valued, content and online delivery of the program was acceptable. Feedback was mixed on the appropriate stage of caring.


    START-online was feasible and acceptable for carers, including those living outside of metropolitan areas who might otherwise be unable to access face-to-face programs. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic necessitating social distancing to avoid infection, interventions such as this one have increasing relevance in the provision of flexible services.