Stakeholders’ perspectives on adapting the World Health Organization iSupport for Dementia in Australia

Lily D. Xiao*, Sue McKechnie, Lesley Jeffers, Anita De Bellis, Elizabeth Beattie, Lee Fay Low, Brian Draper, Petrea Messent, Anne Margriet Pot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In Australia, informal caregivers (family, friends and neighbours) play a crucial role in supporting people with dementia to remain at home. Within the community aged care policy, informal caregivers are acknowledged as assisting with managing care. However, they usually receive very limited dementia care education and training to support them in their role. The World Health Organization (WHO) developed iSupport for Dementia, a comprehensive online dementia education and skill training programme, to address the gap in supporting informal caregivers. Aim: The aim of the study was to identify stakeholders’ perspectives regarding adapting the WHO iSupport for use by informal caregivers of people with dementia in Australia. Methods: An interpretive description study design was used. Data were collected in focus groups with informal caregivers and care staff of dementia and aged care service providers conducted in May–July 2018. A thematic analysis was utilised to analyse data and identify findings. Results: In total, 16 informal caregivers and 20 care staff participated in the study. Five themes were identified. First, informal caregivers perceived iSupport as an opportunity to provide an online one-stop shop to meet their education needs and their needs to manage care services. Second, both informal caregivers and care staff believed that an integrated caregiver network moderated by a health professional was much needed to enable informal caregivers to share learning experiences and enhance social support. Third, both informal caregivers and care staff strongly suggested that dementia and aged care service providers had a role to play in promoting the iSupport. Fourth, informal caregivers were concerned about the time commitment to participate in the iSupport programme. Finally, informal caregivers expected the iSupport to be user-friendly. Conclusion: Stakeholders perceived the adaptation of the WHO iSupport in Australia would strengthen informal caregiver education and optimise support for informal caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1536-1552
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Early online date29 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge our appreciation to the participants of this study. The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project was funded by a Flinders University Seeding Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


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