Self-Management Support and eHealth When Managing Changes in Behavior and Mood of a Relative With Dementia

An Asynchronous Online Focus Group Study of Family Caregivers’ Needs

Judith in het Huis Veld, Renate Verkaik, Berno van Meijel, Paul-Jeroen Verkade, Wendy Werkman, Cees M.P.M. Hertogh en Anneke Francke
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Artikel van Judith Huis in het Veld, docent onderzoeker van de Hogeschool Inholland verschenen in Research in Gerontological Nursing ABSTRACT The current article discusses how and by whom family caregivers want to be supported in selfmanagement when managing changes in behavior and mood of relatives with dementia and whether family caregivers consider eHealth a useful tool for self-management support. Four asynchronous online focus groups were held with 32 family caregivers of individuals with dementia. Transcripts of the online focus groups were analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis. Family caregivers need support from professionals or peers in the form of (a) information about dementia and its symptoms, (b) tips and advice on managing changes in behavior and mood, (c) opportunities to discuss experiences and feelings, and (d) appreciation and acknowledgement of caregiving. The opinions of family caregivers about self-management support through eHealth were also reported. Findings suggest a personal approach is essential to self-management support for family caregivers managing changes in behavior and mood of relatives with dementia. In addition, self-management support can be provided to some extent through eHealth, but this medium cannot replace personal contacts entirely.