Using the iPad for self-management and health promotion activities, and social inclusion

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NetherlandsVU University Medical Centre Netherlands
 Early Stage Researcher (ESR8)


Floriana Mangiaracina image: Email icon image: Linkedin icon image: University profile icon



Prof. Rose-Marie Droes image: Email icon image: University profile icon


Dr Franka Meiland image: Email icon image: University profile icon

As an Early stage Researcher of INDUCT, Floriana Mangiaracina will conduct the research “Using the iPad for self-management, health promotion activities and social inclusion”, under the supervision of prof. Rose-Marie Dröes.

She graduated at the University of Padova in Cognitive psychology (BCs) and at the University of Bologna in Applied Cognitive psychology (MSc). Additionally, she deepened her knowledge in the field of dementia and in research by doing her internship at the VU University Amsterdam.

Her interests lie in research which will result in developing and improving psychosocial intervention for people with dementia and which will improve their quality of life.

Start date December 2016
Duration 36 months


The ESR will (1) conduct a randomised controlled trial among people with dementia and their informal carers, using iPAD based measures to compare the intervention with usual care, and explore implementation issues using the intervention with people with a range of dementia severity and in a variety of care settings. Facilitators and barriers of implementation will be investigated and strategies for implementation developed (including a guide for informal carers and a business model). The study will be in collaboration with Saxion University of Applied Sciences. In previous PhD research VUMC (in collaboration with Saxion University of Applied Sciences) developed a client-centred four step iPAD programme supporting individual people with dementia and their carers to plan and perform activities for leisure, self-management and social inclusion. This included methods for: assessing the individual needs, wishes and abilities; selecting usable apps & connecting to these individual needs, wishes and abilities; coaching people with dementia in iPAD use plus coaching staff and informal carers (including volunteers), in how to help people with dementia use the iPAD tablet. The development of this client centred-programme was based on the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) framework with regard to the design and evaluation of complex interventions to improve health.

Expected Results

Increased engagement in activities, increased self-management and increased social contacts in people with dementia who are offered the iPad and matching programme as compared to people who use the tablet without the matching programme or people who do not use the iPad at all. In addition the client-centred programme is expected to increase the sense of competence of informal carers and to relief their burden (because of the results achieved in the persons with dementia).

Planned secondment(s)

In the first year a secondment of 3 months with the University of Nottingham-UK, Institute of Mental Health working with MindTech the mental health technology enterprise to develop skills around implementation in practice and application development. The second secondment of 3 months will be at a technology organisation (Silverfit) which develops apps by means of user participatory design to get insight in the functional requirements and implementation issues at a user level Contacts exist with technology and care organisations via the Dutch Coalition of Applied Gaming and previous research projects.



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