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Title: The association of health literacy and electronic health literacy with self-efficacy, coping, and caregiving perceptions among carers of people with dementia: research protocol for a descriptive correlational study
Authors: Efthymiou, Areti 
Middleton, Nicos 
Charalambous, Andreas 
Papastavrou, Evridiki 
Keywords: Health literacy;Carers;Dementia;Ehealth
Category: Clinical Medicine
Field: Medical and Health Sciences
Issue Date: Nov-2017
Publisher: JMIR Research Protocols
Source: JMIR Research Protocols, 2017, Volume 6, Issue 11, Article Number e221
Abstract: Background: In the last decade, electronic health (eHealth) literacy has attracted the attention of the scientific community, as it is associated with the self-management of patients with chronic diseases and the quality and cost of care. It is estimated that 80% of people with chronic diseases are cared for at home by a family member, friend, or relative. Informal carers are susceptible to physical and mental health problems, as well as social and financial hardships. Nevertheless, there seems to be a research gap in terms of carers' needs, skills, and available resources in the age of new technologies, with the vital role of eHealth literacy of the carers remaining unexplored. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the level of eHealth literacy and health literacy of primary and secondary carers of people with dementia, to explore the association between health and eHealth literacy, as well as their association with the caregiving variables: self-efficacy, coping, and caring perceptions. Methods: A sample of 200 primary carers (the carer who supports the people with dementia in everyday living) and 200 secondary carers (family member, friend, or other person in the social network assisting the primary carer in their role) will be recruited from dementia day care centers and Alzheimer's associations in Greece and Cyprus. The study will be a cross-sectional correlational descriptive study. Tools to be used include the eHealth Literacy Scale adapted for carers to measure eHealth literacy, European Health Literacy Survey Questionnaire 16 (HLS-EU-Q16), Single Item Literacy Screener, Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy, Carers of Older People in Europe (COPE) index for caregiving perceptions, and COPE brief to measure selected coping strategies. Descriptive statistics will be reported, and correlations between different variables will be explored with parametric and nonparametric measures. Results: As a preliminary study, the HLS-EU-Q16 has been validated in 107 older people. The internal consistency of the scale as estimated using Cronbach alpha coefficient was.77, somewhat lower than other validation studies. Recruitment of pilot study participants started in May 2017. Conclusions: Carers' eHealth literacy is a new field. Whereas previous studies have focused on the role and impact of low eHealth literacy and health literacy among older adults, the eHealth literacy of carers, and in fact carers of people with dementia, has not been explored. We hypothesize an association between eHealth literacy and health literacy level with carers' perceptions about caregiving role, self-efficacy, and coping strategies. A possible moderator in these associations is the secondary carers'eHealth and health literacy level, which will also be explored. By confirming the above hypotheses, tailored eHealth literacy interventions for carers of people with dementia and their families will be developed as a direct outcome of this research.
ISSN: 1929-0748
Rights: ©Areti Efthymiou, Nicos Middleton, Andreas Charalambous, Evridiki Papastavrou.
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

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