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Family carers of people living with dementia and discussion board engagement in the Understanding Dementia massive open online course


Borchard, J and Bindoff, A and Farrow, M and Kim, S and McInerney, F and Doherty, K, Family carers of people living with dementia and discussion board engagement in the Understanding Dementia massive open online course, Aging and Mental Health pp. 1-9. ISSN 1360-7863 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/13607863.2022.2042188


Objectives: This study compared discussion board involvement between family carers and non-carers in the Understanding Dementia Massive Open Online Course (UD-MOOC).

Methods: A mixed methods observational cohort study of family carers and non-carers was undertaken over the February-April 2020 UD-MOOC. Discussion board engagement was measured as number of posts and replies and examined longitudinally using mixed models. Discussion topics were explored through structural topic models (STM). Subsequently, thematic analysis of STM derived-topic exemplars was conducted to contextualise these discussions.

Results: Family carers were (n = 2320) found to post (p < 0.001) and reply (p= 0.029) significantly more often than non-carers (n = 2392). Of the 32-STM derived-topics, meaningful activities (mean Δ = 0.007, 95% CrI [0.005-0.100]), personal stories of diagnosis (mean Δ = 0.007, 95% CrI [0.005-0.009]), and family history of dementia (mean Δ = 0.006, 95% CrI [0.004-0.008]) were discussed significantly more frequently by family carers compared to non-carers.

Conclusion: These results may reflect underlying motivational differences and circumstantial relevance. Perhaps the greater engagement by family carers is related to a sense of having inadequate relevant offline social resources, where engagement in the UD-MOOC discussion boards may serve as means to share experiences with others.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:carers, dementia, MOOC
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Aged health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Borchard, J (Mr Jay Borchard)
UTAS Author:Bindoff, A (Mr Aidan Bindoff)
UTAS Author:Farrow, M (Dr Maree Farrow)
UTAS Author:Kim, S (Dr Sarang Kim)
UTAS Author:McInerney, F (Professor Fran McInerney)
UTAS Author:Doherty, K (Dr Kathleen Doherty)
ID Code:150966
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2022-07-07
Last Modified:2022-11-22

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