Touchscreen interventions and the well-being of people with dementia and caregivers

This article reviews touchscreen-based interventions designed to be used by people with dementia (PWD), with a specific focus in assessing their impact on well-being | International Psychogeriatrics

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Dementia can have significant detrimental impacts on the well-being of those with the disease and their carers. A range of computer-based interventions, including touchscreen-based interventions have been researched for use with this population in the hope that they might improve psychological well-being.

The data bases, PsycInfo, ASSIA, Medline, CINAHL, and Cochrane Reviews were searched for touchscreen-based interventions designed to be used by PWD with reported psychological well-being outcomes. Methodological quality was assessed using Pluye and Hong’s (2014) Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) checklist.

Sixteen papers were eligible. They covered 14 methodologically diverse interventions. Interventions were reported to be beneficial in relation to mental health, social interaction, and sense of mastery. Touchscreen interventions also reportedly benefit informal carers in relation to their perceived burden and the quality of their relationships with the people they care for. Key aspects included the user interface, provision of support, learning style, tailored content, appropriate challenge, ergonomics, and users’ dementia progression.

Whilst much of the existing research is relatively small-scale, the findings tentatively suggest that touchscreen-based interventions can improve the psychological well-being of PWD, and possibilities for more rigorous future research are suggested.

Full reference: Tyack, C & Cami, P.M. (2017) Touchscreen interventions and the well-being of people with dementia and caregivers: a systematic review. International Psychogeriatrics. Vol. 29 (Issue 8) pp. 1261-1280

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