Indiana University School of Social Work Affiliate Research Scientist Regenstrief Institute
Comparing crowdsourcing and friendsourcing: a social media-based feasibility study to support Alzheimer disease caregivers
Caregivers increasingly rely on social media for informational and emotional support. A limitation of online peer support can be the immediacy and relevancy of replies to discussion posts and requests for support. This research translated inter-disciplinary knowledge from the fields of medicine, informatics and social work to develop an Alzheimer's caregiver support group using Facebook that increased the immediacy and relevancy of support group requests for informational and emotional support. A web app designed for this research applied crowdsourcing and friendsourcing technology to connect support group members with Facebook friends social networks. Post-intervention, caregivers were found to have significantly decreased burden and perceived stress. Average emotional and informational support scores were significantly increased.