Sab Sikder Rose Hills
Application-Based Psychotherapy for Dementia Caregivers
Dementia is a very difficult disease to live with as it can progressively deteriorate the cognitive function of a patient to the tragic point where, for example, friends and family become unrecognizable, and basic taskssuch as walking, eating, using the restroomrequire continuous, everyday assistance from family members. However this places a significant physical, socioeconomic, and psychological burden on the caregiverswhich has been shown to increase their risk for physical and psychiatric illnesses. They have shown to have a higher prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders, compromised immune function along with other physical morbidity, and increased mortality. Although there are ways to remedy and improve their symptoms of anxiety and depression through psychotherapy techniques such as meditation and guided imagery, current intervention methods limit accessibility to care due to technological limitations. Therefore as a solution, I developed iPhone and Android apps that incorporate these psychotherapy techniques, and we conducted a successful 4-week clinical trial. Currently, we are working on our publication and hope to improve the apps and conduct other trials when needed.