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Changing Moods: How Manual Tracking by Family Caregivers Improves Caring and Family Communication

Previous research on healthcare technologies has shown how health tracking promotes desired behavior changes and effective health management. However, little is known about how the family caregivers' use of tracking technologies impacts the patient-caregiver relationship in the home. In this paper, we explore how health-tracking technologies could be designed to support family caregivers cope better with a depressed family member. Based on an interview study, we designed a simple tracking tool called Family Mood and Care Tracker (FMCT) and deployed it for six weeks in the homes of 14 family caregivers who were caring for a depressed family member. FMCT is a tracking tool designed specifically for family caregivers to record their caregiving activities and patient's conditions. Our findings demonstrate how caregivers used it to better understand the illness and cope with depressed family members. We also show how our tool improves family communication, despite the initial concerns about patient-caregiver conflicts.

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Key Information

Type of Work
Conference paper
Publisher
ACM Digital Library
ISBN/ISSN
978-1-4503-4655-9
Publication Year
2017
Journal Titles
CHI '17 Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Start Page
158
End Page
169