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Keywords

caregivers, Internet, social support, stroke, telehealth intervention

 

Authors

  1. Pierce, Linda L.
  2. Steiner, Victoria

ABSTRACT

Background: Four of five families are affected by stroke. Many caregivers access the Internet and gather healthcare information from Web-based sources.

 

Design: The purpose of this descriptive evaluation was to assess the usage and design of the Caring~Web site, which provides education/support for family caregivers of persons with stroke residing in home settings.

 

Sample and Setting: Thirty-six caregivers from two Midwest states accessed this intervention in a 1-year study. The average participant was 54 years old, White, woman, and the spouse of the care recipient.

 

Methods: In a telephone interview, four Web site questions were asked twice a month/bimonthly, and a 33-item survey at the conclusion of the study evaluated the Web site usage and design of its components. Descriptive analysis methods were used, and statistics were collected on the number of visits to the Web site.

 

Results: On average, participants logged on to the Web site 1-2 hours per week, although usage declined after several months for some participants. Participants positively rated the Web site's appearance and usability that included finding the training to be adequate.

 

Conclusion: Web site designers can replicate this intervention for other health conditions.