Study protocol for a hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial of the Building Better Caregivers online workshop for rural family/friend caregivers of people living with dementia

Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 Oct:121:106903. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2022.106903. Epub 2022 Aug 31.


Introduction: Dementia caregiving is complex and disproportionally burdens caregivers living in rural areas due to fewer resources and formal support systems. There is an immediate need to identify effective, scalable, and accessible online programs to support rural caregivers' well-being. Building Better Caregivers (BBC), a possible solution, is an asynchronous online 6-week, interactive, and skills-building workshop developed for caregivers of persons with dementia. This research aims to assess the effectiveness and implementation of the BBC workshop when delivered among rural dementia caregivers in the United States.

Methods: A hybrid effectiveness and implementation trial applying mixed methods will be conducted in collaboration with local, state, and national partnering organizations. Eligible participants live in a rural area of the United States, give care at least 10 h a week for a family member or friend with dementia, and have internet access. Evaluation is based on the RE-AIM framework. Effectiveness outcomes are assessed using a randomized control trial. Caregivers are randomly assigned to the BBC workshop (intervention) or attention control group. Implementation outcomes are assessed using surveys and debriefing interviews from partnering organizations and participants. The study protocol including the study design, methods of recruitment and assessment, and outcomes are described.

Conclusion: This is the first known study to evaluate both the effectiveness and implementation of a caregiver support intervention under real-world conditions in rural areas. If successful, this online workshop will be a practical and acceptable approach for promoting the health and well-being of geographically isolated rural dementia caregivers.

Trial registration: NCT04428112.

Keywords: Caregiver burden; Caregivers; Dementia; Depression; Effectiveness; Implementation; Internet-based intervention; Rural; Self-management intervention.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers*
  • Dementia* / therapy
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data