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Title: Design, development and evaluation of assistive technologies to assist people with Alzheimer’s disease by supporting their caregivers
Author: Armstrong, Nicola
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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One of the most widespread chronic diseases within the older population is a form of dementia known as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is a progressive disease of the brain, which effects a person’s memory, thought and judgment. The unmet needs of people with AD (PwAD) have been identified as, the need to remember, maintain social contact, enhance perceived safety and support with regards to activities of daily living (ADL). In order to investigate how technology could be used to address the unmet needs of PwAD and their caregivers a number of tasks were carried out. Primarily this involved the design, development and evaluation of a suite of smartphone and computer based applications for PwAD and their caregivers. Caregiver perception on assistive technologies for PwAD and possible ways to enhance device adherence were also investigated alongside identifying the main challenges for the development of technology to support AD care. Evaluations to assess application usability were carried out on a control group of 25 assistive technology experts and a group of 12 caregivers for PwAD. The methods of data collection used included structured questionnaires, semi-structured questionnaires, interviews and data collected from smartphone handsets. Results from the research found that technology may be used in order to assist PwAD and their caregivers with the top unmet needs, however, a number of challenges and barriers still remained to be addressed. These included user perception, adequate levels of user training, evident benefits and the option to personalise assistive devices. Overall findings from the research highlighted recommendations to consider when designing and implementing assistive technology for both PwAD and their caregivers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available