ESR15: Implementation of a supportive intervention for older spousal caregivers


Work package 3
ESR 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.

Planned 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
Cross Technology Solutions, Sweden Thomas Bergqwist To investigate the commercial feasibility of such supportive intervention, with the aim of making it sustainable 3 months

Outcomes