Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
BARRERA-ORTIZ, Lucy et al. Social support through using ICT for family caregivers regarding people suffering chronic disease. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.3, pp. 446-457. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642011000300007.
Objective The study was aimed at determining the effectiveness of social support using information and communication technology (ICT) for family caregivers regarding people suffering chronic disease. Materials and Methods This descriptive exploratory study involving 144 family caregivers for people suffering from chronic disease was carried out in Bogota during 2008 and 2009. It was carried out in three phases: planning and designing ICT strategies (including a pilot trial and selecting the target population), implementing the ICTs in support of the target population and data analysis regarding implementing the ICTs, with a description of the indicators of structure and process for ICT use and results of ICT use in providing social support. G. Hilbert's Social support in chronic disease inventory (SSCI) was used for measurements, including the following categories: personal interaction, guide, feedback, tangible help and social interaction. Results ICT-based intervention was effective and proved positive for social support for most family caregivers. While analysing the different categories, the guide, information and instruction and personal interaction received high scores while feedback and social interaction received lower ones. Conclusions Identifying and designing appropriate ICTs for family caregivers should be continued and supported in different contexts and tools such as internet and on-line social support networks should continue being explored.
Keywords : Social support; family caregiver; chronic disease; technological development.