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

Technical problems should be solved before evaluating the effectiveness of new tablet interventions for people with dementia

Screenshot of the Findmyapps app

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Pilot studies should be conducted to help inform and reduce technical problems and improve accuracy prior to evaluating the effectiveness of new tablet interventions

Explanation and example

Our feasibility study of FindMyApps, a digital programme helping people with dementia to find useful apps for self-management and meaningful activities, showed that when people experienced technical problems they were sometimes not able to provide useful feedback about FindMyApps. For instance, some participants did not use the intervention anymore after they encountered technical problems. Even though a development and pilot study were conducted technical problems still occurred, such as: apps not being available anymore, explanation videos which did not work, personal settings not being saved, the button to go back being difficult to find, and links that did not work. To ensure that technical problems are resolved timely and do not interact with the evaluation of the tablet intervention, it is important to monitor for technical barriers by regular contact with people using the intervention in evaluation studies.

Type of evidence

Kim Beentjes (INDUCT ESR 8)

Pilot RCT feasibility study (Beentjes et al., 2020)
Development study FindMyApps (Kerkhof et al., 2019)
First pilot study FindMyApps (Kerkhof et al., 2020)


Beentjes, K.M., Neal, D.P., Kerkhof, Y.J.F., Broeder, C., Moeridjan, Z.D.J., Ettema, T.P., Pelkmans, W., Muller, M.M., Graff, M.J.L., Dröes, R.M.(2020). Impact of the FindMyApps program on people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia and their caregivers; an exploratory pilot randomised controlled trial. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol., Nov 27:1-13.

Kerkhof, Y., Kohl, G., Veijer, M., Mangiaracina, F., Bergsma, A., Graff, M., & Dröes, R.-M. (n.d.). Randomised controlled feasibility study of FindMyApps: First evaluation of a tablet-based intervention to promote self-management and meaningful activities in people with mild dementia. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol., 1-15.

Kerkhof, Y., Pelgrum-Keurhorst, M., Mangiaracina, F., Bergsma, A., Vrauwdeunt, G., Graff, M., & Dröes, R.-M. (2019). User-participatory development of FindMyApps; a tool to help people with mild dementia find supportive apps for self-management and meaningful activities. DIGITAL HEALTH, 5, 205520761882294.

See also

Pay attention to psychological coping when evaluating the impact of technology

Useful links