259181 Educating Rural Caregivers with Mobile Technology

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:42 AM

Kathy Ellison, DSN, RN , Nursing, Auburn University, Auburn University, AL
Emily Myers, MSW , Social Work, Auburn University, Auburn University, AL
Jatunn Gibson, MPH , Extension, Auburn University, Auburn University, AL
Claire Zizza, PhD, RD , Nutrition, Auburn University, Auburn University, AL
Stuart Pope, DNP , Nursing, Auburn University, Auburn University, AL
Linda Byrd, PhD, CRNP , Auburn University, Auburn, AL
An important challenge of 21st Century America is the aging of the population and the resultant increase in the number of chronically ill persons from a variety of causes. More than 22 million people nationwide provide informal care for a family member in the home. Caregivers who live in rural areas face additional challenges due to fewer transportation options, limited access to medical professionals, lower incomes, and fewer support systems. The negative effects of long-term caregiving have resulted in the need for more effective evidence-based programs to improve caregiver outcomes. The purpose of this University/Community collaborative project was to develop and evaluate a caregiver education program implemented via an iPad application. The caregiver iPad education program included videos and handouts on Personal and Health care Needs, Nutritional Care, Accessing Community Resources, and Stress and time Management. Over 50 rural caregivers were provided 2-3 day access to the IPad and assessed post education for changes in their caregiving knowledge, skills, and reactions to using the iPad program. Results suggest the iPad program increased access of rural caregivers to supportive resources and appear to be an effective method of providing information and skill building to caregivers. Caregivers reported a moderate to great deal of improvement in the caregiving knowledge and skill areas covered in the program. iPad use was evaluated very favorable with the exception of some difficulties in sound and printing. Results support the increased development and use of mobile technology to improve access to education in vulnerable rural caregivers.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe advantages of mobile technology in caregiver education in rural communities. 2. Discuss implementation and outcomes of a pilot project using iPad caregiver education. 3. Discuss implications for future development of mobile technology with rural caregivers of the elderly.

Keywords: Caregivers, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in development and evaluation of caregiver programs for over 10 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3001.2: Rural Aging Issues