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Evaluation of the acceptability and usefulness of an information website for caregivers of people with bipolar disorder

Berk, Lesley, Berk, Michael, Dodd, Seetal, Kelly, Claire, Cvetkovski, Stefan and Jorm, Anthony Francis 2013, Evaluation of the acceptability and usefulness of an information website for caregivers of people with bipolar disorder, BMC medicine, vol. 11, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-162.

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Title Evaluation of the acceptability and usefulness of an information website for caregivers of people with bipolar disorder
Author(s) Berk, LesleyORCID iD for Berk, Lesley orcid.org/0000-0002-3677-7503
Berk, MichaelORCID iD for Berk, Michael orcid.org/0000-0002-5554-6946
Dodd, SeetalORCID iD for Dodd, Seetal orcid.org/0000-0002-7918-4636
Kelly, Claire
Cvetkovski, Stefan
Jorm, Anthony Francis
Journal name BMC medicine
Volume number 11
Article ID 162
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2013-07-11
ISSN 1741-7015
Keyword(s) Adult
Behavior
Bipolar Disorder
Caregivers
Female
Follow-Up Studies
Health Surveys
Humans
Internet
Male
Middle Aged
Social Support
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Medicine, General & Internal
General & Internal Medicine
Caregiver burden
Control appraisals
Disseminate guidelines
Evaluation by users
Guidelines for caregivers
Information website
Website evaluation
Website for caregivers
Summary BACKGROUND: Bipolar disorder is associated with extreme mood symptoms, disability and suicide risk. Close family or friends often have a primary role in supporting an adult with bipolar disorder. However, not all support is helpful and there is little publicly accessible evidence-based information to guide caregivers. Caregiver burden increases the risk of caregiver depression and health problems. To help fill the information gap, expert clinicians, caregivers and consumers contributed to the development of guidelines for caregivers of adults with bipolar disorder using the Delphi consensus method. This paper reports on an evaluation of the acceptability and usefulness of the online version of the guidelines, http://www.bipolarcaregivers.org.
METHODS: Visitors to the website responded to an initial online survey about the usefulness of the information (N=536). A more detailed follow-up feedback survey was emailed to web users who were adult caregivers of adults with bipolar disorder a month later (N=121). The feedback was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively to establish user appraisals of the online information, whether and how caregivers applied the information and ways it could be improved.
RESULTS: The majority of users (86.4% to 97.4%) found the various sections of the website useful. At follow-up, nearly 93% of caregivers reported that the information was relevant to them and 96% thought it would help others. Most respondents said that the information was supportive and encouraged adaptive control appraisals. However, a few respondents who were experiencing complex family problems, or who cared for a person with severe chronic bipolar disorder did not appraise it as positively. Nevertheless, over two-thirds of the caregivers reported using the information. Optional interactive features were recommended to maximize benefits.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, http://www.bipolarcaregivers.org was appraised positively and used. It appears useful to close family and friends seeking basic information and reassurance, and may be an inexpensive way to disseminate guidelines for caregivers. Those who care for people with more severe and chronic bipolar disorder, or who have complex family problems might benefit from more specialized interventions, suggesting the importance of a stepped-care approach to supporting caregivers. The potential of evidence-based, collaboratively developed information websites to enhance caregiver and consumer outcomes merits further investigation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1741-7015-11-162
Field of Research 110999 Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Berk et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30067221

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
School of Medicine
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.