Technology-Supported Group Activity to Promote Communication in Dementia: A Protocol for a Within-Participants Study

Article English OPEN
Sarah K. Smith ; Arlene J. Astell (2018)
  • Publisher: MDPI AG
  • Journal: Technologies (issn: 2227-7080)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3390/technologies6010033
  • Subject: T | Computer Interactive Reminiscence and Conversation Aid (CIRCA) | dementia | psychosocial | Technology
    mesheuropmc: humanities

Computer Interactive Reminiscence and Conversation Aid (CIRCA)is an interactive conversation support for people living with dementia. CIRCA facilitates one-to-one conversations and caregiving relationships in formal care environments. Originally developed as a standalone device, a new web-based version of CIRCA has been created to increase availability. The potential of CIRCA to support group activities and conversation between people living with dementia and a facilitator has not previously been explored. The two objectives of this study are (i) to validate the new web-based version of CIRCA against the original standalone device, and (ii) to explore the efficacy of CIRCA in supporting group activity for people with dementia in a formal care setting. This mixed-methods study comprises two parts: (i) an eight-session group activity using the CIRCA stand-alone device, and (ii) an eight-session group activity using the web-based CIRCA. One hundred and eighty people with dementia will be recruited: 90 for part (i) and 90 for part (ii). Measures of cognition and quality of life will be taken at the baseline, post-CIRCA intervention, and three months later, plus video recordings of the group sessions. Both parts of the study will be completed by June 2018. The study will provide evidence on two issues: (i) a validation of the new web-based version of CIRCA, and (ii) the suitability of CIRCA to support group activities in formal care settings for people living with dementia. This protocol is an extended version of the short paper presented at the AAATE 2017 conference and published in Studies in Health Technology & Informatics.
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