The use of everyday technologies to enhance well-being and enjoyment for people living with dementia: A systematic literature review and narrative synthesis

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Dementia, Ahead of Print.
BackgroundEveryday technologies, such as laptops and tablets, are often used for enjoyment, pleasure, leisure and social participation. Despite this, whilst considerable research has investigated exploring people’s experiences of using assistive technologies, it is not clear how everyday technologies are experienced by individuals living with dementia. The aims of this review were to explore the experiences and views of people living with dementia and carers about using everyday technology to enhance their well-being and enjoyment, social engagement, participation and leisure as well as understand their views about the usability of everyday technology in dementia.MethodsA systematic search of the literature was conducted using the electronic databases: PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, CINAHL Complete and EThOS. Five qualitative studies and five mixed-method studies were included and synthesised using a narrative approach. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed using the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Qualitative Quality Appraisal, which uncovered key variation in the quality of the included, synthesised studies.FindingsThe review suggests that everyday technologies can help support well-being, particularly when technology is used in a group setting and when individuals received the right amount of support to help engage in the technology. Four major themes relating to experiences and views were derived from the findings of the 10 included studies: ‘Technology use maintaining a sense of identity’, ‘Assumptions held by the self and others’, ‘The importance of others’ and ‘The usability of technology influencing effective engagement’.ConclusionsOverall, everyday technologies appear to have a positive impact on different aspects of the well-being of people living with dementia. Clinical implications of these findings include supporting opportunities for people living with dementia to use everyday technology for enjoyment and making these technologies more widely available and accessible.

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