Digital tools for delivery of dementia education for caregivers of persons with dementia: A systematic review and metaanalysis of impact on caregiver distress and depressive symptoms

Andrea Scerbe, Megan E. O'Connell*, Arlene Astell, Debra Morgan, Julie Kosteniuk, Ivan Panyavin, Andrea DesRoches, Claire Webster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Continuing education for dementia has been shown to be beneficial by improving informal caregiver knowledge, dementia care, management, and caregiver physical and mental health. Technology-based dementia education has been noted to have equivalent effects as in-person education, but with the added benefit of asynchronous and/or remote delivery, which increases accessibility. Using Cochrane review methodology, this study systematically reviewed the literature on technology-based dementia education and its impacts on caregivers. Technology-based delivery included dementia education delivered via the Internet, telephone, telehealth, videophone, computer, or digital video device (DVD). In the review, twenty-eight studies were identified with fourteen included in a meta-analysis, and these data revealed a significant small effect of technologically based dementia education on reducing caregiver depression, and a medium effect on reducing caregiver distress in response to caregivers' observations of behavioral problems displayed by persons with dementia. No evidence was found for a significant effect of the educational intervention on caregiver burden or self-efficacy, which are known to be gendered aspects of caregiving. None of the studies included in the meta-analysis reported separate outcomes for male and female care providers, which has implications for gendered caregiving norms and aspects of care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0283600
Number of pages26
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Cite this