The Digital Caregiving Assistance Platform for Dementia Caregivers: Preliminary Evaluation Study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



JMIR aging






Alzheimer disease; dementia; digital health; evaluation; family caregiver; mobile phone; usability


BACKGROUND: The increasing prevalence of Alzheimer disease and Alzheimer disease-related dementia in the United States has amplified the health care burden and caregiving challenges, especially for caregivers of people living with dementia. A web-based care planning tool,, was developed to aid caregivers in managing common challenges associated with dementia care. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to preliminarily evaluate the quality and usability of the platform and assess the preferences of using the technology and interests in learning about different older adult care services among caregivers. METHODS: For interview 1, we aim to understand caregiving needs and let the participants start engaging with the platform. After they engage with the platform, we schedule the second interview and let the participants complete the Mobile Application Rating Scale. The survey also included sociodemographic characteristics, caregiving experiences, communication preferences in technology adoption, and older adult care service use and interests. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the quality and usability of the platform and characteristics of the participants. We conducted 2-sample 2-tailed t tests to examine the differences in the Mobile Application Rating Scale evaluation scores by caregiver characteristics. RESULTS: Overall, 30 adult caregivers in Texas completed the evaluation. The majority were aged ≥50 years (25/30, 83%), women (23/30, 77%), White (25/30, 83%), and financially stable (20/30, 67%). The platform evaluation showed high satisfaction, with an overall mean rating of 4.57 (SD 0.57) of 5, and scored well in engagement (mean 4.10, SD 0.61), functionality (mean 4.46, SD 0.44), aesthetics (mean 4.58, SD 0.53), and information quality (mean 4.76, SD 0.44) consistently across all participants. A statistically significant difference (P=.02) was observed in functionality evaluation scores by duration of caregiving, with caregivers dedicating more hours to care rating it higher than those providing less care (mean 4.6, SD 0.4 vs mean 4.2, SD 0.5). In addition, caregivers with less caregiving experience reported significantly higher evaluation scores for aesthetics (P=.04) and information quality (P=.03) compared to those with longer years of caregiving. All participants expressed a willingness to recommend the app to others, and 90% (27/30) rated the app overall positively. Most of the participants (21/30, 70%) favored anonymous interactions before receiving personalized feedback and preferred computer browsers over mobile apps. Medical home health services were the most used, with a diverse range of services being used. Caregiver support groups, medical providers, memory care, meal services, and adult day care were among the most desired services for future exploration. CONCLUSIONS: The web-based platform is a practical, engaging, easy-to-use, visually appealing, and informative tool for dementia caregivers. Future development and research are essential to enhance the platform and comprehensively evaluate it among a broader population.


School of Medicine and Health Sciences Resident Works