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Table 1 An overview of the findings of the selected studies

From: E-learning as valuable caregivers’ support for people with dementia – A systematic review

Study Characteristics of subjects Type of an e-learning tool and the length of the intervention Outcome measures Results, statistically significant differences
Hattink et al. [45] (RCT) Participants, including informal caregivers (72/142, 50.7%), volunteers (24/142, 16.9%), and professional caregivers (46/142, 32.4%). a multilingual e-learning portal - the European Skills Training and Reskilling (STAR); 2–4 months questionnaires, statistical analysis The STAR training portal seems to be useful, friendly, person-centred approach, increases caregiver’s empathy. In the experimental group, however, there was a significant reduction in self-reported sense of competence.
Ho et al. [46] (survey study) 279 dementia family carers. dementia e-learning educational program (ADCarer.com); July 2011–January 2012 (survey) self-administered questionnaire, statistical analysis The results indicate that caregivers especially appreciated the convenience of the e-learning program, flexibility in choosing topics suitable to them, saving travelling time, and handling behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
Kajiyama et al. [25] (RCT) Informal caregivers - (N = 150) were randomly divided into the iCare Condition (ICC) or to the Education/Information-Only Condition (EOC). iCare Stress Management e-Training Program; 3 months self-report measures of stress (primary outcome), depression (CES-D) and quality of life (secondary outcomes), statistical analysis The main outcome was a change in perceived stress; it was significant for the ICC but not the EOC (p = .017). Future efforts to improve dropout rate and increase caregiver’s motivation to participate in the program.
Nunez-Naveira et al. [24] (RCT) 61 informal carers (30 carers in the experimental group, 31 in the control group); age range: 25–88 years. e-learning platform (understAID application) accessible through a smartphone or tablet; 3 months the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D); self-completion questionnaire; statistical analysis After using understAID the caregivers in the experimental group significantly decreased their depressive symptomatology; overall, 33.3% of the caregivers were satisfied with the application and approximately 50% of the participants assessed it as technically and pedagogically acceptable.
Pot et al. [47] (experimental study) 149 family caregivers (69.8% females, 30.2% males, average age: 61.5 years). a guided self-help Internet intervention “mastery over dementia” (MoD) Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly, CES-D, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, user evaluation, statistical analysis MoD appears to be accessible for a broad range of family carers of people with dementia in terms of reach, adherence and user evaluation. The only drawback was a high percentage of carers who did not finish all lessons (55.7%).
Wijma et al. [48] (survey study) 35 informal caregivers (mean age = 55 years; 77% females, 23% males). a virtual reality simulation movie and e-learning course: Through the D’mentia Lens (TDL); 3 weeks pre- and post-test questionnaires, statistical analysis TDL is feasible and acceptable for informal carers. Caregivers improved in empathy, confidence in caring for the person with dementia, and they had positive interactions with the person with dementia.