Background: Families living with Alzheimer disease and related dementias have more access to support thanks to the development of effective telehealth-based programs. However, as technological science grows, so does the risk that these technology-based interventions will diverge from foundational protocols, diluting their efficacy. Strategies that ensure programs are delivered as intended, with fidelity to guiding protocols, are needed across the intervention spectrum - from development to wide-scale implementation. Few papers address fidelity in their technology-based work. Here, we present our translated telehealth intervention, Tele-STAR, with our fidelity findings. Objective: This study aimed to assess the preliminary efficacy of Tele-STAR on reducing family caregiver burden and depression. Across the implementation phases, we assessed the fidelity of a caregiver education intervention, STAR-C, as it was translated into a telehealth option (Tele-STAR). Methods: A total of 13 family caregivers consented to participate in an 8-week, videoconference-based intervention (Tele-STAR). Tele-STAR efficacy in reducing the affective burden of caregiving was assessed using pre- and postintervention paired t tests. Content experts assessed program fidelity by reviewing and rating Tele-STAR materials for adherence to the original STAR-C protocol. These experts assessed treatment fidelity by viewing videos of the intervention and rating adherence on a checklist. Results: Tele-STAR reduced caregiver burden and retained good program and treatment fidelity to STAR-C. Conclusions: We found Tele-STAR reduced caregiver burden and had good fidelity to the original protocol. Assessing fidelity is a complex process that requires incorporation of these procedures early in the research process. The technology used in this study facilitated the accrual of informative data about the fidelity of our translated intervention, Tele-STAR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics