Digital Technology to Support Informal Caregivers: Matching the Tools to the Needs from a Sex, Gender and Diversity Perspective
More than 25% of the Canadian population aged over 15 are informal caregivers. They provide care to family members or friends with disability, health conditions, or problems associated with aging. However, caregiving is highly stressful and associated with poor mental health and increased risk of mortality and serious illness. Moreover, lost productivity due to caregiving-related absenteeism costs employers an estimated $5.5 billion annually.
Technologies including mobile apps, home monitoring systems and e-health applications, have been developed to address caregiver needs. Yet, sex, gender and diversity considerations have not been considered systematically in the design and evaluation of these technologies despite their importance in many other areas. This may also explain the poor uptake of potentially very beneficial supports.
In addressing this important gap in research and policy, our research program, led by trainee Chen Xiong, developed a sex- and gender-sensitive tool to support the creation and evaluation of technologies designed to assist with caregiving.
In achieving this overarching goal, the three specific objectives of the project were:
To gather the key sex, gender and diversity considerations that need to be taken into account during the design and implementation of technologies for informal caregivers of individuals with high needs.
To develop a technology evaluation tool – the Caregiving, Diversity and Technology Assessment (CareDATA) to assist in the evaluation of technologies to support caregiving, taking into account sex, gender and diversity considerations.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of CareDATA in assessing technology projects from a sex, gender and diversity perspective
For an overview of CareDATA, please click here.
To learn more and download the full version of CareDATA, please click here.
Principal Investigator: A. Colantonio. Co-Investigators: A. Astell, J. Cameron, A. Mihaildis, E. Nalder, C. Xiong
CareDATA was developed in collaboration with our generous partners.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Health Canada