Clinicians and researchers have become increasingly interested in the potential of technology in assisting persons with dementia (PwD). However, several issues have emerged in relation to how studies have conceptualized who the main technology user is (PwD/carer), how technology is used (as compensatory, environment modification, monitoring or retraining tool), why it is used (i.e., what impairments and/or disabilities are supported) and what variables have been considered as relevant to support engagement with technology. In this review we adopted a Neuropsychological Rehabilitation perspective to analyse 253 studies reporting on technological solutions for PwD. We analysed purposes/uses, supported impairments and disabilities and how engagement was considered. Findings showed that the most frequent purposes of technology use were compensation and monitoring, supporting orientation, sequencing complex actions and memory impairments in a wide range of activities. The few studies that addressed the issue of engagement with technology considered how the ease of use, social appropriateness, level of personalization, dynamic adaptation and carers’ mediation allowed technology to adapt to PWD’s and carers’ preferences and performance. Conceptual and methodological tools emerged as outcomes of the analytical process, representing an important contribution to understanding the role of technologies to increase PwD’s wellbeing and orient future research.
Fabricatore, C., Radovic, D., Lopez, X., Grasso-Cladera, A., & Salas, C. E. (2020). When technology cares for people with dementia: A critical review using neuropsychological rehabilitation as a conceptual framework. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 30(8), 1558-1597. https://doi.org/10.1080/09602011.2019.1589532