Using computer technology to enable arts and crafts for people with dementia in care homes

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United KingdomUniversity of Nottingham United Kingdom
Supervisor(s)  Prof. Justine Schneider
Early Stage Researcher (ESR6) Aline Cavalcanti Barroso
Aline Cavalcanti Barroso 3

Aline Cavalcanti Barroso is an Early Stage Researcher working in the project ‘Using computer technology to enable arts and crafts for people with dementia in care homes’ supervised by Professor Justine Schneider at University of Nottingham (England, UK). She graduated in Psychology from Universidade de Brasília, Brazil (2014). She also has an MSc degree in Neuropsychology from Maastricht University, Netherlands (2014-2016). Her research interests are on dementia, quality of life, neuropsychological evaluation, application of digital arts in dementia, and assistive technology.

Start date September 2016
Duration 36 months


The ESR will (1) scope the range of applications of digital arts and crafts which are easy to use people with dementia and conduct an online cross-country survey to ascertain which applications are more popular and widely used in care settings in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands. Using a consensus process the two promising applications will be identified. These will be evaluated to establish proof of principle in a crossover trial design. People with dementia living in group settings such as nursing homes and care homes often have limited quality of life becoming institutionalised due to loss of independence and autonomy, and a lack of meaningful activities. In particular, they are often socially excluded from participation in cultural and creative activities which are widely available in the outside world because of a lack of staff time and expertise, and lack of facilities and necessary equipment. People with dementia find digital arts engaging and stimulating and the benefits radiate to those around them in care settings so there are great opportunities to improve their quality of life through digital access to arts and crafts using touch screen computers and tablets.

Expected Results

The ESR will map the use of digital arts in 3 countries and identify cultural, attitudinal and resource-related barriers and the incentives towards adopting digital aids to arts and crafts in such settings. Careful planning and skilled instruction are necessary so the ESR will develop guidance for care staff on making the most of digital arts and crafts applications with residents with dementia. A cost projection for implementing the most successful approaches more widely will take account of training staff, purchasing equipment and carer time required to support individuals to use the applications.

Planned secondment(s)

Added value is brought to this Fellow through association with TANDEM – a new Doctoral Training Centre on the arts and dementia funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, and co-located at Nottingham and Worcester universities. The study will also link with WP3 and WP5. Two, 3 month secondments to VU Medical Centre (Netherlands) and Karolinska Institute (Sweden) will review the use of relevant applications in care home settings in these countries and better understand both the best way to work with users and carers to evaluate the applications and the potential barriers and discrepancies faced by people with dementia dealing with technology. ESR6 will write the best practice guidance in collaboration with ESRs from VU Medical Centre (Netherlands) and Karolinska Institute (Sweden).

Useful links image: atdementia logo

AT Dementia

AT Dementia provides information on Assistive Technology that can help people with dementia live more independently.



Cavalcanti Barroso, A (2017, April) – INDUCT: Interdisciplinary Network for Dementia Using Current Technology. In WYLD Network Symposium – Interdisciplinary Perspectives: Young Investigators on the Road to a Holistic Approach to Dementia Prevention and Care. Symposium conducted at the 32nd International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International, Kyoto, JP – – page 42


Dementia Day-to-Day blogs – Using technology for meaningful activities in dementia care –

IMH Blog – First INDUCT School was a success! –


Alzheimer Europe newsletter May 2017 – The INDUCT project is researching how technology can improve the lives of people living with dementia – – page 4

IMH Newsletter April /May 2017 – INDUCT (Interdisciplinary Network for Dementia using Current Technology)- – page 5