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Cerebra Systematic Review

Digital wellbeing interventions for family carers of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities: A Systematic ReviewLink opens in a new window

Project team: Dr Jo Griffin, Professor Richard Hastings, Dr Sam Flynn, Dr Magda Apanasionok, and Andreas Paris

Advisory group: Debbie Austin and Ellie Finch

Family carers of people with an intellectual (learning) and developmental disability can experience additional stress and have a higher chance of poorer mental health than other family carers. UK mothers of children with intellectual (learning) disabilities for example, are approximately twice as likely to have clinically concerning levels of psychological distress on a mental health screening questionnaire than other mothers (Totsika et al. 2011). Supporting family carers’ mental health and wellbeing is sometimes done through formal programmes or “interventions”.

Face to face interventions to support family carers can be problematic as they may find it difficult to commit to attending regular individual or group sessions due to difficulties organising childcare/respite and transport to the sessions, and child and parent health problems (Lunsky et al. 2017). Digital (online or virtual) interventions may be helpful for family carers that find accessing face to face interventions difficult. No-one has yet taken a look at all the international research evidence for digital mental wellbeing interventions for family carers of people with an intellectual (learning) and developmental disability.

A systematic review is a research method that uses a detailed and strict set of guidelines to search the international research literature.

We are conducting a systematic review to find out:

  • What digital interventions are out there;
  • If they helped to improve family carers’ mental wellbeing;
  • What family carers thought about the interventions; and
  • What things helped the interventions to work best. opens in a new window