Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia


Evaluating the effectiveness of specific contemporary technology

The rapid growth of the technological landscape and related new services have the potential to improve the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health and social services and facilitate social participation and engagement in activities. But which technology is effective and how is this evaluated best? This section provides recommendations to evaluate the effectiveness of technology in daily life, meaningful activities and healthcare services as well as of technologies aimed to promote the Social Health of people with dementia. Examples of useful technologies in some of these areas are provided.
Technology for meaningful activities

Personalized feedback and sustained support for carers using the experience sampling method


When using smartphone-based digital self-monitoring/experience sampling in carers of people with dementia, consider providing personalized feedback to promote emotional well-being and stimulate the undertaking of more activities they enjoy (e.g. relaxation activities).

Explanation and examples

‘Experience sampling’ (ESM)-based smartphone apps can offer solutions to raise awareness of enjoyable activities, strengthen learned coping strategies, and provide (long- term) support in everyday life. The ‘Partner in Sight’ intervention has been found to decrease perceived stress as well as negative affect, and to increase sense of competence in carers.

However, an increase in passive relaxation activities was only achieved with personalized feedback. Long-term support could be achieved by adding additional features, such as booster sessions, micro interventions (short version of the original intervention) or ad-hoc counseling after the main intervention period, through cost-effective and common technologies (smartphone apps, webpages, emails, telephones).

Type of evidence

Sara Bartels (INDUCT ESR9)

Follow-up results of the ESM ‘Partner in Sight’ intervention


Bartels, S.L., Van Knippenberg, R.J.M., Viechtbauer, 8., Simons, C.J.P., Ponds, R.W., et al. Intervention Mechanisms of an Experience Sampling Intervention for Spousal Carers of People with Dementia: A Secondary Analysis, Aging & Mental Health 2020 Dec 9:1-9.

Bartels, S. L., van Knippenberg, R. J., Köhler, S., Ponds, R. W., Myin-Germeys, I., Verhey, F. R., & de Vugt, M. E. (2019). The necessity for sustainable intervention effects: lessons-learned from an experience sampling intervention for spousal carers of people with dementia. Aging & Mental Health, 24(12)2082-2093.

Van Knippenberg, R. J. M., De Vugt, M. E., Ponds, R. W., Myin-Germeys, I., & Verhey, F. R. J. (2018). An experience sampling method intervention for dementia caregivers: results of a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(12), 1231-1243.

See also

Everyday fluctuations

Useful links