Feasibility of Intentional Technology Pairing in Fostering Connections Among Dementia Caregivers

Julie A. Fields, Leah K. Forsberg, Matthew Knutson, Sara J. Seifert, Jodi L. Melius, Kevin M. Kramer, Angela Lunde

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Background: To gather user input iteratively to develop a matching algorithm for peer-to-peer support and to assess the feasibility and usability of a web-based program to conduct matching. Method: 32 caregivers of persons with dementia (PwD) participated in semi-structured focus groups and completed surveys to provide input regarding characteristics deemed valuable in someone they would choose to be connected with for emotional support. Through an iterative process as new information emerged, a web-based prototype and matching algorithm were developed. Caregivers interacted with the prototype and provided feedback indicating ease of accessibility and use, initial impression, and comfort/satisfaction with profile content. Result: All 32 caregivers (age 40-90, education 12/GED-20, sex 88% female, 31% Black/African-American) completed online profiles. Of those who interacted with the prototype, 23 completed the feedback survey, on which 87% had no or only mild difficulty accessing the site, 91% had no difficulty with technology once there, 86% had a very or quite positive initial impression, 91% found it very or quite easy to navigate, 87% rated a very or quite high level of comfort with completing the personal profile questions, and 82% felt very or quite confident the questions asked would lead to a good match. Conclusion: A large majority of caregivers of PwD demonstrated the web-based platform was easy to access and navigate, provided a positive experience, and gathered information that would lead to a good supportive relationship with another caregiver. Phase II will optimize the design and algorithm and evaluate the matching process in 350 caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere067871
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue numberS2
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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