Technology caregiver intervention for Alzheimer's disease (I-CARE): Feasibility and preliminary efficacy of Brain CareNotes

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2023 Dec;71(12):3836-3847. doi: 10.1111/jgs.18591. Epub 2023 Sep 14.


Background: The primary aim of the current pilot study was to examine enrollment rate, data completion, usability, acceptance and use of a mobile telehealth application, Brain CareNotes. A secondary aim was to estimate the application's effect in reducing caregiver burden and behavioral and psychological symptoms related to dementia (BPSD).

Methods: Patient-caregiver dyads (n = 53) were recruited and randomized to intervention and control groups. Assessment of usability, acceptance, BPSD symptoms, and caregiver burden were collected at baseline, 3- and 6-month follow-up.

Results: The enrollment rate was acceptable despite pandemic related challenges (53/60 target recruitment sample). Among randomized individuals, there was a retention rate of 85% and data completion was attained for 81.5% of those allocated to usual care and 88.5% of those allocated to Brain CareNotes. Mean caregiver-reported app usability at 6 months was 72.5 (IQR 70.0-90.0) on the System Usability Scale-considered "Good to Excellent"-and user acceptance was reasonable as indicated by 85%-90% of caregivers reporting they would intend to use the app to some degree in the next 6 months, if able. Regarding intervention effect, although differences in outcome measures between the groups were not statistically significant, compared to baseline, we found a reduction of caregiver burden (NPI-Caregiver Distress) of 1.0 at 3 months and 0.7 at 6 months for those in the intervention group. BPSD (NPI Total Score) was also reduced from baseline by 4.0 at 3 months and by 0.5 at 6 months.

Conclusions: Brain CareNotes is a highly scalable, usable and acceptable mobile caregiver intervention. Future studies should focus on testing Brain CareNotes on a larger sample size to examine efficacy of reducing caregiver burden and BPSD.

Keywords: Alzheimers disease and related dementias; behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia; caregiver intervention; mobile health; telehealth.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / psychology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / therapy
  • Brain
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Dementia* / psychology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects