Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia


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 for meaningful activities

Embedding time flexibility and social support to increase user engagement in self-help and technology-based interventions for informal caregivers


To deliver more efficient self-help and technology-based psychological interventions to informal caregivers, time flexibility and personal retention approaches should be considered to prevent a high rate of dropout. Flexible timing (i.e., self-paced instruction) and personal retention approaches, such as embedding a component of social support/interaction in the form of informational support (e.g., guidance) and/or emotional support (e.g., peer support), showed lower attrition and higher rates of engagement and satisfaction in various self-help and technology-based psychological interventions for informal caregivers.

Explanation and Examples:

A systematic search was conducted into the use of psychological interventions based on acceptance and commitment therapy for informal caregivers of people with dementia or other long-term or chronic conditions. A total of 7896 abstracts and 33 full texts were read, resulting in 21 studies involving a narrative synthesis. Quantitative and qualitative data showed that flexible interventions are more amenable to caregivers’ lives. Further, social or interpersonal support in various modalities (e.g., automated messaging, reminders, personal touch) might promote motivation for, uptake of and engagement in interventions. Therefore, future technology-based interventions, particularly in the form of self-help that requires little or no therapist resources, might benefit from time flexibility and embedded social support components (e.g., peer support or motivational coaching). Furthermore, employing mixed methods or embedded qualitative components. (e.g., semi-structured interviews) might provide further insight into user experience, potentially supporting decisions related to intervention design. Uncovering and preventing factors associated with high rates of dropouts will lead to more effective, adaptive and individualised interventions.

Type of evidence

Golnaz Atefi (DISTINCT ESR5)

Systematic literature review


Atefi, G., M.E. De Vugt, Van Knippenberg, R.J.M., Levin, M.E., Verhey, F.R.J.1, Bartels, S.L. The use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in informal caregivers of people with dementia and other long-term or chronic conditions: A systematic review and conceptual integration. Clinical Psychology Review (under revision).