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Title: Investigating the potential of touchscreen technology to create opportunities for independent activity with people living with dementia
Author: Joddrell, Phil
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 6766
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis reports an investigation into the potential of touchscreen technology to create opportunities for independent leisure activity for people living with dementia. The work was motivated by an Alzheimer's Society members survey highlighting the need for stimulating recreational activities for people with dementia. A literature review was conducted to ascertain how the touchscreen format was being used in the context of dementia, and what could be learned from previous applications. The results of the review highlighted the scarcity of research employing touchscreen technology as a means of facilitating leisure activity for people with dementia. Four research questions were formulated: (1) What types of touchscreen activities are effective? (2) Can touchscreen games be played independently? (3) How can suitable apps be identified? and (4) How can touchscreen apps be customised to improve their accessibility? Three studies were conducted involving 66 people with dementia, either living in or attending care services. Study 1 investigated the types of touchscreen games that are most suitable for people living with dementia. Study 2 evaluated the effectiveness of accessibility settings implemented for people with dementia. Study 3 examined the role of prompt features in the design of touchscreen games for people with dementia. The results revealed that touchscreen games can provide enjoyable and engaging independent activity for people living with dementia. However, selecting games requires consideration of familiarity, novelty and complexity. Furthermore, the potential for collaboration between researchers and developers to improve the design and accessibility of apps for people living with dementia was highlighted. The legacy of the thesis is represented by (i) observable indicators of engagement when people with dementia are interacting with touchscreen activities; (ii) a framework for identifying accessible apps for people with dementia, and (iii) an online resource recommending existing apps to the public.
Supervisor: Astell, Arlene J. ; Smith, Sarah K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available