Perceived Benefits and Barriers of mHealth Mindfulness Use for Caregivers of Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment: A Qualitative Exploration

Author: Danielle H Llaneza1, Amanda J Llaneza2, Elissa Kozlov1
1 Rutgers University, School of Public Health, Department of Health, Behavior, Society, and Policy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA.
2 Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, Hudson College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.
Conference/Journal: Clin Gerontol
Date published: 2022 Dec 11
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1080/07317115.2022.2154728. , Word Count: 208

Mobile (mHealth) mindfulness-based interventions have the potential to be feasible, acceptable, effective, and scalable interventions for caregivers of people living with cognitive impairment. This qualitative study of caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment explored caregivers' experiences using a mindfulness therapy mobile application.

Fifteen caregivers were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Analysis was guided by the phenomenological approach and inductive-deductive analysis.

Six themes were generated from the data: convenience, barriers, perceived helpfulness, useful features, suggested app improvements, and skill transfer. Caregivers reported that the app was easy to use with many perceived benefits. Caregivers also noted some barriers to using the app.

This study revealed that self-directed mHealth delivered mindfulness therapy may be a promising intervention for the caregivers involved in the study. Having the ability to use the app anywhere and at any time was a prominent reason for continued regular use for the participants. This was especially important to some caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The barriers discussed by the caregivers are important considerations for future app-based interventions for caregivers.

Clinical implications:
Clinicians can consider recommending mHealth mindfulness therapy to caregivers as a tool to provide caregivers with additional support.

Keywords: app intervention; dementia; family caregiving; mHealth; mindfulness therapy.

PMID: 36502294 DOI: 10.1080/07317115.2022.2154728