The use of technology in creating individualized, meaningful activities for people living with dementia: A systematic review
Dementia, Ahead of Print.
There is a growing interest in using technology to provide meaningful activities for people living with dementia. The aim of this systematic review was to identify and explore the different types of digital technologies used in creating individualized, meaningful activities for people living with dementia. From 1414 articles identified from searches in four databases, 29 articles were included in the review. The inclusion criteria were the study used digital technology to deliver an individually tailored activity to participants with dementia, the process of individualization was described, and findings relating to the mental, physical, social, and/or emotional well-being of the participant were reported. Data extracted from the included studies included participant demographics, aims, methods, and outcomes. The following information on the technology was also extracted: purpose, type, training, facilitation, and the individualization process. A narrative synthesis of the results grouped the various technologies into four main purposes: reminiscence/memory support, behavior management, stimulating engagement, and conversation/communication support. A broad range of technologies were studied, with varying methods of evaluation implemented to assess their effect. Overall, the use of technology in creating individualized, meaningful activities seems to be promising in terms of improving behavior and promoting relationships with others. Furthermore, most studies in this review involved the person with dementia in the individualization process of the technology, indicating that research in this area is adopting a more co-creative and inclusive approach. However, sample sizes of the included studies were small, and there was a lack of standardized outcome measures. Future studies should aim to build a more concrete evidence base by improving the methodological quality of research in this area. Findings from the review indicate that there is also a need for more evidence concerning the feasibility of implementing these technologies into care environments.