ARTICLES: PDF OnlyThe Effects of a Special Computer Network on Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer's DiseaseBRENNAN, PATRICIA FLATLEY; MOORE, SHIRLEY M.; SMYTH, KATHLEEN A.Author Information PATRICIA FLATLEY BRENNAN, PHD, RN, FAAN, is associate professor of nursing and systems engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland,OH. SHIRLEY M. MOORE, PHD, RN, is an assistant professor nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. KATHLEEN A. SMYTH, PHD, is associate director of the Alzbeimer's Center and assistant professor of medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. Nursing Research: May 1995 - Volume 44 - Issue 3 - p 166-172 Buy Abstract Caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are confronted with novel decision-making tasks that leave them at risk for social isolation. Computer Link is a computer network providing information, communication, and decision-support functions for caregivers of persons with AD. One hundred two AD caregivers participated in a randomized field experiment to evaluate the effects of ComputerLink on confidence in decision making, decision-making skill, and social isolation. During the 1-year study period, AD caregivers averaged two encounters per week with Computer Link for sessions lasting an average of 13 minutes. Access to Computer Link enhanced caregivers'decision-making confidence. Decision-making skill was unaffected. ComputerLink access did not lead to changes in social isolation as measured by standard instruments. The decision-support function was used least often. Postings to ComputerLink's public bulletin board included both information-seeking and supportive messages. These findings are congruent with reports of other community-based interventions for caregivers and consistent with evaluations of computerized decision-support systems. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.