Internet-delivered guided self-help Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for family carers of people with dementia (iACT4CARERS): A qualitative study of carer views and acceptability

Milena Contreras, Elien Van Hout, Morag Farquhar, Lance M. McCracken, Rebecca L. Gould, Michael Hornberger, Erica Richmond, Naoko Kishita

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Abstract

Purpose: To explore carers’ views and acceptability of internet-delivered, therapist-guided, self-help Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for family carers of people with dementia (iACT4CARERS). 
Methods: A qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews was employed with family carers (N=23) taking part in a feasibility study of iACT4CARERS. The interviews were audio- recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. 
Results: Four overarching themes were identified: 1) usefulness and relevance of the content of the sessions, 2) sense of connectedness, 3) the impact of the intervention on participants and 4) acceptability of the online delivery. Positive carer experiences and intervention acceptability were facilitated by learning helpful ACT skills, perceiving the content of the session as relatable to the carers' needs, feeling connected to other carers and the therapist during the intervention, noticing the benefits of the intervention and the user-friendliness of the online platform. Recommendations for a full-scale trial were identified, such as the inclusion of some ‘face-to-face’ interactions (e.g. via video call) between carers and therapists to facilitate a bidirectional interaction and the provision of an additional aide-memoire to improve the learning experiences. 
Conclusion: Overall, the intervention was acceptable to the family carers. The proposed recommendations should be considered in a full-scale trial.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2066255
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Volume17
Issue number1
Early online date17 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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