Self-care is critical to enhancing outcomes among chronically ill Veterans since without optimal self-care, these Veterans face poor quality of life, exacerbations, and imminent death. Existing tools designed to enhance self-care are limited because they often require in person contact, and they do not address the needs of informal caregivers who may be involved in Veteran care. Engaging Veterans and their caregivers in an online support program may be effective in improving patient-reported health outcomes among chronically ill Veterans by improving adherence to self-care recommendations
The objective in this study is to develop and pilot test a web-based self-care program that targets the barriers to self-care as experienced by chronically ill Veterans and their caregivers.
We will work with a web design company to develop an interactive user interface for SUCCEED that can be hosted over the web (Aim 1). Once complete, we will field test the web-based program with 30 patients and 30 caregivers (Aim 2). Under Aim 1, we will work with instructional designers and develop storyboards that finalize content, narrative script, and hyperlinks to optimize navigation within the program, and to allow for asynchronous access. We will conduct usability testing with 10 participants. Results of the usability testing will be used to refine the prototype. Under Aim 2, we will determine recruitment and retention procedures, assess acceptability of the program, pilot surveys, and conduct a qualitative evaluation using semi-structured feedback from participants.
We completed the website which went live in the fall of 2018. We approached 134 individuals in VA primary care and nephrology clinics, of which 96 were not interested. OF the remained 31, 22 did not screen positive, and we have enrolled 14 patients, and 15 caregivers. Many of them are being followed up since they did not complete all the modules been recruiting participants for piloting this website. Initial feedback is positive. Furthermore, we have received funding from the Elizabeth Dole National Center for Veteran and Caregiver Research to continue pilot testing this program, and to further the enhancements.
The proposed research is relevant to Veterans' health because an effective and implementable strategy that improves self-care of chronic illnesses is expected to ultimately reduce costly hospitalizations, enhance quality of life, and reduce mortality. Results of the proposed pilot study have the potential of benefiting Veterans with chronic illnesses requiring intensive self-care.
None at this time.
Health Systems, Aging, Older Veterans' Health and Care
Technology Development and Assessment, TRL - Development
Caregiving, Family, Symptom Management, Telemedicine/Telehealth