Background: The burden associated with caregiving has been well documented. Caregivers have multiple responsibilities, and technology may be accessible as a potential burden-alleviating resource. Materials and Methods: We surveyed cancer caregivers regarding current technology use and willingness to use technology for easing burden or distress. Because age has been associated with technology use, responses were compared between geriatric (≥65 years old) and nongeriatric (18-64 years old) caregivers. Results: We had 112 respondents. Based on nonmissing responses, 66% (n=71) were women, 95% (n=106) were white, and 84% (n=91) had post-high school education. Almost all caregivers reported having Internet (105 [94%]) and e-mail (102 [91%]) access. Nongeriatric caregivers indicated more willingness to access Internet-based tools that help caregivers (54 [93%] versus 41 [76%]; p=0.04) and were more frequent users of social media (37 [64%] versus 16 [30%]; p=0.01), smartphones (33 [57%] versus 16 [30%]; p=0.01), and other mobile wireless devices (42 [72%] versus 19 [35%]; p<0.001) than geriatric caregivers. They also more frequently expected technologies to improve their own quality of life (p=0.009), increase their feelings of being effective as a caregiver (p=0.02), and save time (p=0.003). Regardless of age, a majority of caregivers (67 [62%]) endorsed the potential benefit of caregiving technologies in preventing burnout. Conclusions: Most caregivers have high access to and use of technology. Geriatric and nongeriatric caregivers were receptive to technology-based tools to help with their caregiving roles. Although nongeriatric caregivers expected to derive more benefit from such tools, both groups believed that caregiving technologies could reduce burden.
- informal caregiver
- psychosocial technology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management