Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: A Web-Based Psychosocial Intervention for Family Caregivers of Older People: Results from a Mixed-Methods Study in Three European Countries
Authors: Barbabella, Francesco 
Poli, Arianna 
Andréasson, Frida 
Salzmann, Benjamin 
Papa, Roberta 
Hanson, Elizabeth 
Efthymiou, Areti 
Döhner, Hanneli 
Lancioni, Cristina 
Civerchia, Patrizia 
Lamura, Giovanni 
Major Field of Science: Social Sciences
Field Category: Psychology
Keywords: Internet;Caregivers;Frail elderly;Health education;Social networking;Social support
Issue Date: 6-Oct-2016
Source: JMIR Research Protocols, 2016, vol. 5, no. 4
Volume: 5
Issue: 4
Journal: JMIR Research Protocols 
Abstract: Background: Informal caregiving is the main source of care for older people in Europe. An enormous amount of responsibility and care activity is on the shoulders of family caregivers, who might experience problems in their psychological well-being and in reconciling caregiving and their personal sphere. In order to alleviate such burden, there is increasing interest and growing research in Europe on Web-based support addressing family caregivers and their needs. However, the level of development and penetration of innovative Web-based services for caregivers is still quite low and the access to traditional face-to-face services can be problematic for logistic, availability, and quality reasons. Objective: As part of the European project INNOVAGE, a pilot study was conducted for developing and testing a Web-based psychosocial intervention aimed at empowering family caregivers of older people in Italy, Sweden, and Germany. The program offered information resources and interactive services to enable both professional and peer support. Methods: A mixed-methods, sequential explanatory design was adopted. Caregivers' psychological well-being, perceived negative and positive aspects of caregiving, and social support received were assessed before and after the 3-month intervention. Poststudy, a subsample of users participated in focus groups to assist in the interpretation of the quantitative results. Results: A total of 94 out of 118 family caregivers (79.7%) from the three countries used the Web platform at least once. The information resources were used to different extents in each country, with Italian users having the lowest median number of visits (5, interquartile range [IQR] 2-8), whereas German users had the highest number (17, IQR 7-66) (P<.001). The interactive services most frequently accessed (more than 12 times) in all countries were the social network (29/73, 40%) and private messages (27/73, 37%). The pretest-posttest analysis revealed some changes, particularly the slight worsening of perceived positive values of caregiving (Carers of Older People in Europe [COPE] positive value subscale: P=.02) and social support received (COPE quality-of-support subscale: P=.02; Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support subscale: P=.04), in all cases with small effect size (r range -.15 to -.18). Focus groups were conducted with 20 family caregivers and the content analysis of discussions identified five main themes: online social support, role awareness, caregiving activities, psychological well-being, and technical concerns. The analysis suggested the intervention was useful and appropriate, also stimulating a better self-efficacy and reappraisal of the caregivers' role. Conclusions: The intervention seemed to contribute to the improvement of family caregivers' awareness, efficacy, and empowerment, which in turn may lead to a better self-recognition of their own needs and improved efforts for developing and accessing coping resources. A major implication of the study was the finalization and implementation of the InformCare Web platform in 27 European countries, now publicly accessible (
ISSN: 1929-0748
DOI: 10.2196/resprot.5847
Rights: © JMIR Publications
Type: Article
Affiliation : National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing 
Linnaeus University 
Linköping University 
Swedish Family Care Competence Centre 
Wir Pflegen eV, 
Cyprus University of Technology 
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat
Efthymiou.pdfArticle567.96 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
CORE Recommender
Show full item record


checked on Dec 5, 2022

Page view(s)

Last Week
Last month
checked on Dec 6, 2022


checked on Dec 6, 2022

Google ScholarTM



Items in KTISIS are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.