This clinical trial will test the FamTechCare intervention that uses multidisciplinary
professional guidance based on in-home video monitoring to support family caregivers in
managing challenging behaviors of persons with dementia (PWD). Families provide the majority
of care for PWD at home. However the stress of caregiving is so significant that it
increases caregiver morbidity and mortality. Stress is magnified by disruptive behaviors in
PWD that frequently lead to nursing home placement. In-home video monitoring allows experts
to assess behaviors of PWD and to identify antecedents, recommend specific interventions.
FamTechCare uses new technology to link family caregivers to experts for guidance in
managing disruptive behaviors, supporting continued care at home while reducing the negative
effects of caregiving.
Caregiver-PWD dyads (N=88) will be randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. Both
groups will record behaviors during daily care for 3 months using a home monitoring unit.
Notably, this new technology captures 3-5 minutes prior to the behavior, thus recording
behavior triggers and precursors. Caregivers record care situations they select and upload
videos to a secure site. The expert team will review intervention group videos weekly and
will provide individualized feedback for improving care to caregivers in the home. The
control group caregivers will receive a weekly phone call and advice from a nurse, but their
recorded videos will be held for review and individualized feedback provided after 3 months.
Study aims are to use observation to assist caregivers in behavior management. Effects on
disruptive behaviors and caregiver burden and other negative outcomes will be compared.
Investigators will evaluate ease of use and satisfaction, cost-efficiency, and factors
influencing likelihood of translation into practice. This is the first study to test new
technology for direct observation and immediate feedback to empower families to manage PWD
behaviors at home while reducing caregiver stress and morbidity. Technology links caregivers
to individualized expert guidance, acknowledging the importance and burden of their role.
This study addresses NIH missions and the 2012 National Plan to Address Alzheimer's disease
goals, integrating strategies to promote adoption and use of aging services technologies in
interventions that will reduce negative caregiver outcomes, a growing public health problem.
- Person caring for someone with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia
- Exclusion criteria include Huntington's disease, alcohol-related dementia,
schizophrenia, manic-depressive disorder, deafness, and mental retardation.