Tele-Savvy

Citation: Griffiths, P., Kovaleva, M., Higgins, M., Langston, A., & Hepburn, K. (2018). Tele-Savvy: An Online Program for Dementia Caregivers. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 33(5), 269–276. https://doi.org/10.1177/1533317518755331

This is a Free Resource

Abstract

Introduction

This study examined the feasibility and efficacy of Tele-Savvy, an online version of the Savvy Caregiver Program, a psychoeducation program for caregivers caring for a person with dementia.

Methods

A convenience sample of 22 caregivers from the Atlanta VA and 42 caregivers from 14 different states enrolled in Tele-Savvy. Pre- and post-program evaluations assessed caregiver burden, caregiver competency, and frequency of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).

Results

Fifty-seven caregivers completed the 6-week Tele-Savvy program. Caregivers whose care recipients exhibited higher average BPSD frequency at baseline demonstrated significantly greater burden decreases post-program. Caregivers of care recipients in more advanced dementia stages demonstrated a significantly greater improvement in caregiver competence.

Discussion

The results point to the feasibility of achieving significant results in caregivers’ well-being and care recipients’ BPSD with a fully online program. Tele-Savvy may be particularly efficacious for caregivers whose care recipients exhibit higher BPSD frequency and are in later dementia stages.