ESR15: Implementation of a supportive intervention for older spousal caregivers


Work package 3
ESR Dr. Ieva Biliunaite
Supervisor Prof. Gerhard Andersson
Co-supervisor Prof. Robbert Sanderman
Host institution Linköpings University, Sweden
Contact ESR ieva.biliunaite@liu.se
Contact supervisor gerhard.andersson@liu.se

Objectives: To implement a supportive intervention for older spousal caregivers with the aim to help them care for their partner (including health care seeking), but also to improve their own psychological health.

Research on internet-supported psychological treatment has been conducted in Sweden and at Linköping University for several years with a large number of controlled studies. Based on our previous experiences, we will adapt and implement a supportive intervention for older caregivers with the aim to help them care for their partner (including health care seeking), but also to improve their own psychological health. This group or spousal caregivers is likely to increase considerably based on the changes in demography. We have previous experiences of running trials on older adults with anxiety and depression, and in other studies on somatic problems like chronic pain there have been a significant proportion of older adults. In terms of working with caregivers, we have completed a trial on parents of children with burn injuries. We plan to adapt and test the intervention in a pilot and feasibility study, and then to run an implementation trial to investigate the use and effectiveness in a real-world setting. A treatment platform for the delivery of internet interventions is in place, but the programme needs to be adapted for the specific needs of this group and tested. The treatment will last for 8 weeks and can be described as an online education course.

Expected Results:

This study will deliver an example of a supportive eHealth programme for informal spousal caregivers, which can be used for further upscaling and potentially used in other countries.

Publications

Biliunaite, I. (2022). Internet intervention for informal caregivers in Lithuania. (Doctoral dissertation, Linköping University Electronic Press). https://doi.org/10.3384/9789179291877

Biliunaite, I. B., Kazlauskas, E., Sanderman, R., & Andersson, G. (2022). Informal caregiver support needs and burden: a survey in Lithuania . BMJ open, 12(1), e054607. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-054607

Biliunaite, I., Kazlauskas, E., Sanderman, R., Truskauskaite-Kuneviciene, I., Dumarkaite, A., & Andersson, G. (2021). Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Informal Caregivers: Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial. JMIR, 23(4), 21466. https://doi.org/10.2196/21466

Biliunaite, I., Dumarkaite, A., Kazlauskas, E., Sanderman, R., & Andersson, G. (2021). ICBT program for improving informal caregiver well-being: A qualitative study. Internet Interventions, 23, 100361–100361. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2021.100361

Biliunaite, I. B., Kazlauskas, E., Sanderman, R., & Andersson, G. (2021). Process Evaluation of Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Intervention for Informal Caregivers . Frontiers in Medicine, 8:725510. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.725510 https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.725510

Semonella, M., Vilchinsky, N., Dakel, R., Biliunaite, I., Pietrabissa, G., & Andersson, G. (2020). SOSteniamoci: An internet-based intervention to support informal caregivers. In PSYCHOBIT. http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-2730/paper13.pdf


Secondments:


Host Secondment supervisor Aim Duration
University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands Prof. Robbert Sanderman To learn about spousal support interventions in the context of chronic illness 3 months
Tired of Cancer, the Netherlands Door Vonk & Bram Kuiper To investigate the commercial feasibility of such supportive intervention, with the aim of making it sustainable 3 months