The Role of Technology in Supporting Family Caregivers

  • Sara J. CzajaEmail author
  • Dolores Perdomo
  • Chin Chin Lee
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9754)


In the United States and in many other countries, family members represent the primary source of support for older adults with a chronic disease or disability. While caregiving is associated with positive outcomes such as personal growth or the sense of helping someone in need, evidence has shown that caring for a relative/friend with an illness or disability causes distress in family caregivers and compromises their health and survival. Thus, there have been many intervention programs designed to aid family caregivers and many of these programs have proven beneficial in terms of alleviating caregiver burden and distress. Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness of the existence of these programs or logistic problems accessing these programs, many caregivers do not take advantage of or receive the benefits of evidenced-based interventions. This paper will discuss and demonstrate with examples from our research, how Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) can support family caregivers.


Family caregiving Social support Information and communication technology 


  1. 1.
    United Nations, Department of Economics and Social affairs, Population Division: World Population Ageing 2013. ST/ESA/SER.A/348 (2013)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
    Pinquart, M., Sörensen, S.: Correlates of physical health of informal caregivers: a meta-analysis. J. Gerontol. B Psychol. Sci. Soc. Sci. 62, P126–P137 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schulz, R., O’Brien, A.T., Bookwala, J., et al.: Psychiatric and physical morbidity effects of dementia caregiving: prevalence, correlates, and causes. Gerontologist 35, 771–791 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Belle, S.H., Burgio, L., Burns, R., Coon, D., Czaja, S.J., Gallagher-Thompson, D., et al.: Enhancing the quality of life of dementia caregivers from different ethnic or racial groups: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann. Intern. Med. 145, 727–738 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schulz, R., Martire, L.M.: Family caregiving of persons with dementia: prevalence, health effects, and support strategies. Am. J. Geriatr. Psychiatry 12, 240–249 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fox, S., Duggan, M., Purcell, K.: Family Caregivers are Wired for Health. Pew Research Center.
  9. 9.
    Czaja, S.J., Sharit, J., Nair, S.N.: Usability of the medicare health web sites. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 300, 790–791 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Taha, J., Sharit, J., Czaja, S.J.: Use of and satisfaction with sources of health information among older internet users and nonusers. Gerontologist 49, 663–673 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Berkowsky, R., Czaja, S.J.: The use of technology in behavioral intervention research: advantages and challenges. In: Gitlin, L., Czaja, S.J. (eds.) pp. 119–136. Springer Publishing Company, LLC, New York (2016)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Czaja, S.J., Lee, C.C., Schulz, R.: Quality of life technologies in supporting family caregivers. In: Schulz, E. (ed.) Quality of Life Technology Handbook, pp. 245–260. Taylor & Francis, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Czaja, S.J., Loewenstein, D., Schulz, R., Nair, S.N., Perdomo, D.: A videophone psychological intervention for dementia caregivers. Am. J. of Geriatr. Psychiatry 21, 1071–1081 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara J. Czaja
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dolores Perdomo
    • 1
  • Chin Chin Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Center on AgingUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations