The mental health of family members caring for people with dementia is rightly an area of increasing importance.

A number of studies that are looking at precisely this area are recruiting dementia carers through Join Dementia Research. The following studies are all supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).


A digital therapy platform for use on mobile devices is being trialled to see if it can improve the mental health of carers.

The project, led by the University of East Anglia, will be recruiting 500 adult carers looking after family members with dementia. They will “need to be experiencing worry or stress”, and have access to a smartphone, computer or tablet, and the internet.

Half of the volunteers will receive the digital therapy, called iACT4CARERS, while the other half will not be given access to the platform, to compare the two groups.

Those allocated the digital therapy will be asked to complete eight online sessions. A therapist will also support them through weekly feedback and one-to-one calls.

Lead researcher Dr Naoko Kishita said: “We know family carers of those living with dementia are at higher risk of mental health problems. The therapy focuses on helping people handle difficult or troubling thoughts and feelings, whilst taking actions that are important to them, like looking after their own health.”

Developing a resilience measurement scale for unpaid carers

Researchers are working on the development of  a questionnaire for unpaid carers, which will measure how well they cope with the everyday stress of caring. 

The study, led by the University of Liverpool, is seeking UK participants and aims to help researchers understand how best to support carers. This will enable healthcare professionals and policy makers to support those at highest risk of mental health problems.

Participants are asked to complete a 10-minute anonymous online questionnaire, which looks at resilience and the resources they use to help them in their role. 

DemCon study

This study, led by the University of Southampton, is seeking volunteers to review a website designed to help carers providing continence care to people with dementia. 

As the disease progresses, some people with dementia can develop incontinence due to an inability to recognise the need to use the bathroom or side effects from medicine. As a result, they need assistance from a carer to manage this. 

The website was developed to give carers practical advice and researchers are keen to know if it works.

Participants will take part in one 30 to 60 minute online survey about the website, whether the information is useful and how it can be improved.

It is hoped that the research will provide the website’s developers with important feedback on how it can be improved.

To find out if you are eligible to join these or other dementia studies, sign in to your Join Dementia Research account or, if you are not already registered, sign up today.