Aging, Community and Health Research Group (ACHRU)

McMaster University

Funded by

Study 11

Online Interventions for Family Caregivers


Family caregivers of older adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) are challenged with balancing many responsibilities and demands on their time while providing care. The internet can be a means of support to these caregivers. This three-part study investigated online interventions for family caregivers. 

Rapid Evidence Review - researchers prepared a rapid evidence review on the impact of internet interventions on mental health, general caregiving outcomes and general health for informal caregivers of adults with chronic conditions living in the community. The results have been submitted for publication.

Online Toolkit - the experiences of caregivers of older persons with dementia and MCC related to their use of the on-line Toolkit, MyTools4Care (MT4C) was examined. Researchers focused on three areas: (a) what caregivers liked most and least about the Toolkit, (b) caregiver recommendations for changes to the Toolkit, and (c) the impact of using the Toolkit on caregivers’ mental health. Interviews were conducted with 42 Ontario caregivers who had access to MT4C for three months.

Website Assessments – researchers and four community caregivers identified and evaluated a number of relevant websites and online-toolkits for family caregivers and provided recommendations for future online caregiver supports. 


Caregivers involved with this study:

John Ganann

Susan Kaufman

Dolores Radcliffe

Brenda Smith


Publication in Journal of Medical Internet Research

Publication in Journal of Medical Internet Research

Publication in Journal of Medical Internet Research

Research Brief

  • Jenny Ploeg
    Professor Emeritus
    McMaster University School of Nursing
    Department of Health, Aging and Society
  • Maureen Markle-Reid
  • Ruta Valaitis
  • Carrie McAiney
  • Wendy Duggleby
  • Amy Bartholomew
  • Conrad Worrall

Publications and Activities relating to this study:

Online Tools Support Caregivers

Our latest article is featured on the McMaster University School of Nursing website. Caregiver-focused, web-based interventions: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Part 2, was recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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What Have Our Researchers Been Up To?

You’ll be interested in reading our latest publications. We’ve made it easy for you, browse the highlights or click on the link to read more

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Informal Caregivers Need Better Support

Change is urgently needed to better support our caregivers, say Drs. Jenny Ploeg and Maureen Markle-Reid in The Conversation Canada.

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