Article

Digital Support Platform: a qualitative research study investigating the feasibility of an internet-based, postdiagnostic support platform for families living with dementia

Citation

Killin L, Russ TC, Surdhar S, Yoon Y, McKinstry B, Gibson G & MacIntyre D (2018) Digital Support Platform: a qualitative research study investigating the feasibility of an internet-based, postdiagnostic support platform for families living with dementia. BMJ Open, 8 (4), Art. No.: e020281. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020281

Abstract
Objectives  To establish the feasibility of the Digital Support Platform (DSP), an internet-based, post-diagnostic tool designed for families living with a diagnosis of dementia. Design  Qualitative methods, using Normalisation Process Theory (NPT) as an analysis framework for semi-structured interview transcriptions. Setting  A community care setting in the South-East Scotland. ParticipantsWe interviewed ten dyads of people with Alzheimer’s, vascular or mixed dementia (PWD), and their family carers, who had been given and had used the DSP for at least 2 months. Results  Our analysis revealed that the DSP was predominantly understood and used by the carers rather than PWD, and was used alongside tools and methods they already used to care for their relative. The DSP was interpreted as a tool that may be of benefit to those experiencing later stages of dementia or with physical care needs. Carers stated that the DSP may be of benefit in the future, reflecting a disinclination to prepare for or anticipate for future needs, rather than focus on those needs present at the time of distribution. PWD spoke positively about an interest in learning to use technology more effectively and enjoyed having their own tablet devices. Conclusions  The DSP was not wholly appropriate for families living with dementia in its early stages. The views of carers confirmed that post-diagnostic support was valued, but emphasised the importance of tailoring this support to the exact needs and current arrangements of families. There may be a benefit to introducing, encouraging, providing and teaching internet-enabled technology to those PWD who do not currently have access. Training should be provided when introducing new technology to PWD.

Journal
BMJ Open: Volume 8, Issue 4

StatusPublished
Publication date30/04/2018
Publication date online30/04/2018
Date accepted by journal20/03/2018
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/27084
PublisherBMJ Publishing Group