Healthcare Policy

Healthcare Policy 18(1) August 2022 : 75-89.doi:10.12927/hcpol.2022.26903
Research Paper

Public Health Messaging during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Family Caregivers’ COVID-19 Knowledge

Deirdre McCaughey, Gwen McGhan, Kristin Flemons, Whitney Hindmarch and Kim Brundrit


Background: Enabling accurate, accessible public health messaging is a critical role of public health officials during a pandemic, but family caregivers of people living with dementia (PLWD) have rarely been specifically addressed in public health messaging.

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine how family caregivers for people living with dementia access and evaluate public health messaging in Alberta.

Method: An online survey was conducted with family caregivers for PLWD (n = 217).

Results: Most respondents rated public health messaging as good or excellent (63.9%), but specific information about how to access caregiving information (69.5%) and what to expect in the future (49.1%) was rated as less than good. Family caregivers also identified how to care for a PLWD during the pandemic (57.5%) as a key information need. Healthcare providers/workers were the least frequently used source of public health messaging. Almost all family caregivers (94.4%) rated their own COVID-19 knowledge as good or excellent.

Discussion: Tailored, context-driven public health messaging for family caregivers of PLWD is critically needed.



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