Office of Research & Development

print icon sign up for VA Research updates
VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
This Issue: The Aging Veteran | Table of Contents: Summer 2016 |

Noteworthy Publications

Savvy caregiver program successfully adapted for the Internet


A telehealth version of the Savvy Caregiver Program proved effective in an Atlanta VA study involving 30 dementia caregivers. <em>(Photo: ©iStock/fzant)</em>
A telehealth version of the Savvy Caregiver Program proved effective in an Atlanta VA study involving 30 dementia caregivers. (Photo: ©iStock/fzant)

A telehealth version of the Savvy Caregiver Program proved effective in an Atlanta VA study involving 30 dementia caregivers. (Photo: ©iStock/fzant)

The widely used Savvy Caregiver Program, designed to help family and friends care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, can be used successfully in an Internet-based version, according to researchers at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and Emory University.

In a study whose results were published in February 2016 in The Gerontologist, the team used teleconferences and video modules to provide access for 30 caregivers for Veterans to the program in their homes.

Their study found that Tele-Savvy was faithful to the original objectives of the Savvy Caregiver program, and in certain cases, was an improvement on the original. Survey instruments determined that caregivers' burden, anxiety, and symptoms of depression were all decreased after completion of the program, as were the behavioral and psychological symptoms of the Veterans they cared for.

Savvy Caregiver is designed to train family and professional caregivers in the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to handle the challenges of caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease. One aim is to teach caregivers how to think about their situation objectively.

The research team believes that an effective online caregiver education program such as Tele-Savvy could provide greatly expanded access for caregivers who cannot attend training in person because of distance, transportation limitations, or caregiving responsibilities.


Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.