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Unpacking the black box of interventions such as peer support to optimize mental health outcomes of family caregivers

The project aims to explore family caregiver stress and understand how we can co-design technology to measure this stress and recognise how interventions (such as peer support) may reduce stress.

Family caregivers will be interviewed and/or participate in workshops to explore their experiences of stress, and to provide their opinions of measuring stress, particularly how we can use technology to measure stress.

Feedback from these interviews and workshops will inform the development of an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) protocol (EMA is when brief in-the-moment questionnaires are used to find out how people are feeling), and a wearable sensor. This technology will be tested to see whether it works and whether it is liked by those people using it. The goal is to find out what makes peer support (when family caregivers support one-another) so helpful.

This research aims to help improve mental health for family caregivers and guide policies on how to support them better.


The project aims to develop mental health and caregiving support for family caregivers using adaptive Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) and wearable sensors.

These technologies will provide 'in the moment' insights into mood and well-being changes in family caregivers. Using this information, we will be able to understand caregiver stress and inform mental health interventions like peer support. This approach could identify caregivers needing more support, suggest when additional interventions are needed, and influence social care policy. The project's novel methods and findings could extend to other patient groups. This has the potential to improve other mental health services and interventions.

Project status: Ongoing

Principal Investigator

  • Louise Rose

    Head of Division, Applied Technologies for Clinical Care and Professor of Critical Care Nursing


Funding Body: The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Amount: £605,475.53

Period: September 2022 - August 2024