Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia

Recommendations

Implementation of technology in dementia care: facilitators & barriers

Successful implementation of technology in dementia care depends not merely on its effectiveness but also on other facilitating or impeding factors related to e.g. the personal living environment (privacy, autonomy and obtrusiveness); the outside world (stigma and human contact); design (personalisability, affordability and safety), and ethics on these subjects.  This section provides recommendations on the implementation of technology in everyday life, for meaningful activities, healthcare technology and technology promoting Social Health.
Technology in everyday life
3.3.1.3

Provide non-ICT (Information Communication Technology) options for people with dementia who need it

View reference

Guidance

To avoid excluding some people with dementia, service developers should provide alternative non-ICT options when they deliver services and interventions that rely on smartphones, tablets and computers.

Explanation and Examples

A standardized questionnaire mapped how many Everyday Information & Communication Technologies (EICTs) (maximum 31) were relevant to 35 people living with dementia and 34 people with no known cognitive impairment in Sweden. In the same questionnaire, each person also rated their perceived their ability to use (maximum 90) relevant ETs on a 5 step rating scale. A relevant EICT is one that is being used, or has been used in the past, or is planned for use in future. This data was analysed (in a Rasch model) to produce a score for each person’s ability to use ET, and a challenge measure for each of the 31 EICTs to show how difficult or easy they were to use compared to each other. EICTs on smartphones and tablets were not relevant for a high proportion of both groups. Combined with a lower ability to use ET, particularly for people in the group with dementia, and high challenge measures for computer and automated telephone service functions, this could mean some people cannot access EICT-based services and interventions on computerized devices. However, the landline telephone was easiest to use and relevant to the majority of both groups, so this, together with face-to-face options could provide viable alternatives.

The study is currently under review and will be available under open access.

Type of evidence

Sarah Wallcook (INDUCT ESR4)

Cross sectional quantitative study with literature review

References

Wallcook, S., Malinowsky, C., Kottorp, A. & Nygård, L. ‘The use of Everyday Information Communication Technologies in the lives of older adults living with and without dementia in Sweden’, Assistive Technology, 33:6, 333-340. doi.org/10.1080/10400435.2019.1644685