Implementation and dissemination of home- and community-based interventions for informal caregivers of people living with dementia: a systematic scoping review

Eden Meng Zhu*, Martina Buljac-Samardžić, Kees Ahaus, Nick Sevdalis, Robbert Huijsman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Informal caregivers of people with dementia (PwD) living at home are often the primary source of care, and, in their role, they often experience loss of quality of life. Implementation science knowledge is needed to optimize the real-world outcomes of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) for informal caregivers. This scoping review aims to systematically synthesize the literature that reports implementation strategies employed to deliver home- and community-based EBIs for informal caregivers of PwD, implementation outcomes, and the barriers and facilitators to implementation of these EBIs. 


Embase, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library were searched from inception to March 2021; included studies focused on “implementation science,” “home- and community-based interventions,” and “informal caregivers of people with dementia.” Titles and abstracts were screened using ASReview (an innovative AI-based tool for evidence reviews), and data extraction was guided by the ERIC taxonomy, the Implementation Outcome Framework, and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Science Research; each framework was used to examine a unique element of implementation. 


Sixty-seven studies were included in the review. Multicomponent (26.9%) and eHealth (22.3%) interventions were most commonly reported, and 31.3% of included studies were guided by an implementation science framework. Training and education-related strategies and provision of interactive assistance were the implementation strategy clusters of the ERIC taxonomy where most implementation strategies were reported across the reviewed studies. Acceptability (82.1%), penetration (77.6%), and appropriateness (73.1%) were the most frequently reported implementation outcomes. Design quality and packaging (intervention component suitability) and cosmopolitanism (partnerships) constructs, and patient’s needs and resources and available resources (infrastructure) constructs as per the CFIR framework, reflected the most frequently reported barriers and facilitators to implementation. 


Included studies focused largely on intervention outcomes rather than implementation outcomes and lacked detailed insights on inner and outer setting determinants of implementation success or failure. Recent publications suggest implementation science in dementia research is developing but remains in nascent stages, requiring future studies to apply implementation science knowledge to obtain more contextually relevant findings and to structurally examine the mechanisms through which implementation partners can strategically leverage existing resources and regional networks to streamline local implementation. Mapping local evidence ecosystems will facilitate structured implementation planning and support implementation-focused theory building. Trial Registration: Not applicable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Number of pages37
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2023

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