Family caregivers of older adults are at risk for poor physical and mental health outcomes. Compared to caregivers from other racial/ethnic groups, Chinese caregivers, especially those who are recent immigrants, are more likely to develop mental health symptoms and less likely to seek outside help and utilize caregiver resources due to cultural barriers, low health literacy, and limited-English proficiency. A research-informed in-person Caregiver Self-Management Program (CSMP) has been developed to equip Chinese immigrant caregivers with self-care knowledge and skills. However, the caregivers duties and their working status, compounded with transportation barriers, leave them little time to participate in the interventions. The increasing popularity and functionalities of mobile applications (app) offers opportunities to address these barriers through versatility, portability, and potential cost-effectiveness. Currently, no scientifically evaluated health apps are tailored to the specific needs of Chinese immigrant caregivers.

The proposed pilot study will employ a user participatory approach to design, prototype, and pilot-test a CSMP mobile app to meet the needs of Chinese immigrant caregivers. The app is expected to include five core functions to engage caregivers in self-care: building CSMP-based skills, tracking self-management behaviors, summarizing health information, coaching for problem solving, and enabling communication for support and sharing. Five participants experienced with the CSMP as co-designers representing potential users will design the app with an interdisciplinary research team. The prototype of the app will be alpha-tested with the five potential user co-designers and five other community caregivers to refine the app, and then will be beta-tested with another 20 caregivers to evaluate their experience with the app for its potential to improve caregiver self-management and health outcomes. The study will enable us to prepare for two R01 applications: PA-18-150 Promoting Caregiver Health Using Self-Management and PA-18-284 ‰ÛÏAddressing Health Disparities through Effective Interventions among Immigrant Populations.

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