Roksana Malak, Agnieszka Krawczyk-Wasielewska, Ewa Mojs, Bartosz Grobelny, Katarzyna B. Głodowska, José Carlos Millán-Calenti, Laura Núñez-Naveira, Włodzimierz Samborski
(Department of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland)
Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:3623-3627
The person with dementia should be treated as an unique person regarding symptoms directly associated with dementia, such as problems with memory, hallucinations, and delusions, as well as other physical, mental, or neurological deficits. The symptoms not directly typical of dementia, such as musculoskeletal disorders or depression, should be also be considered in order to improve the quality of life of a person with dementia.
That is why professional caregivers have to broaden their current knowledge not only of medical symptoms but also of the patient’s psychosocial condition and increase their inquisitiveness about the individual condition of the patient. The aim of the study was to get to know the opinion of professional caregivers about the UnderstAID platform and its usefulness for informal caregivers.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Participants in the study group consisted of professional caregivers: nurses, sociologists, psychologists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists, all of whom specialized in geriatrics and had experience in working with people with dementia. All professional caregivers answered 24 questions that refer to positive and negative aspects of the UnderstAID platform.
RESULTS: The study group of professional caregivers highly appreciated that the application could give support to caregivers (mean score of 4.78; 5 points means that they totally agreed, and 1 point means that they totally disagreed) and that a wide range of multimedia materials helped the informal caregivers to gain a better understanding of the contents (mean score of 4.78). There was a statistically significant correlation between the age of the professional caregivers and the frequency of positive opinions that the UnderstAID application gave support to caregivers of relatives with dementia (p=0.028) and the opinion that videos, photos, and pictures may help the informal caregivers to gain a better understanding of the contents (p=0.028).
CONCLUSIONS: A group of professional caregivers positively assessed the UnderstAID platform. Caregivers, especially older caregivers, highly appreciated the usefulness of videos, photos, and pictures for gaining a better understanding of the contents.
Keywords: Aging, Caregivers, Dementia, Depression, Life Support Care, Physical Therapists