Digital health interventions to support family caregivers: An updated systematic review.

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Publication Date


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Digit Health


washington; seattle; swedish


OBJECTIVE: Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., and disease management largely falls onto patients' family caregivers. The long-term burden and stress of caregiving negatively impact caregivers' well-being and ability to provide care. Digital health interventions have the potential to support caregivers. This article aims to provide an updated review of interventions using digital health tools to support family caregivers and the scope of the Human-Centered Design (HCD) approaches.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic search on July 2019 and January 2021 in PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, ERIC, and ACM Digital Library, limiting to 2014-2021 to identify family caregiver interventions assisted by modern technologies. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation were used to evaluate the articles. Data were abstracted and evaluated using Rayyan and Research Electronic Data Capture.

RESULTS: We identified and reviewed 40 studies from 34 journals, 10 fields, and 19 countries. Findings included patients' conditions and relationships with family caregivers, how the technology is used to deliver the intervention, HCD methods, theoretical frameworks, components of the interventions, and family caregiver health outcomes.

CONCLUSION: This updated and expanded review revealed that digitally enhanced health interventions were robust at providing high-quality assistance and support to caregivers by improving caregiver psychological health, self-efficacy, caregiving skills, quality of life, social support, and problem-coping abilities. Health professionals need to include informal caregivers as an essential component when providing care to patients. Future research should include more marginalized caregivers from diverse backgrounds, improve the accessibility and usability of the technology tools, and tailor the intervention to be more culturally and linguistically sensitive.

Clinical Institute

Mental Health