Evaluating the Facilitators, Barriers, and Medical Outcomes Commensurate with the Use of Assistive Technology to Support People with Dementia: A Systematic Review Literature




Kruse, Clemens S.
Fohn, Joanna
Umunnakwe, Gilson
Patel, Krupa
Patel, Saloni

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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute


Background: Assistive technologies (AT) have been used to improve the daily living conditions of people living with dementia (PWD). Research supports the positive impact of the use of AT such as decreased burden on caregivers and behavioral support for people with dementia. Four reviews in the last six years have analyzed AT and PWD, but none have incorporated the dimension of medical outcomes. Objectives: The purpose of this review is to identify the facilitators, barriers, and medical outcomes commensurate with the use of AT with PWD. Method: This review queried The Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Web of Science, Science Direct, and PubMed databases for peer-reviewed publications in the last five years for facilitators, barriers, and medical outcomes commensurate with the use of AT with PWD. The study is reported and conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) and the Kruse Protocol for conducting a systematic review. Results: 48 studies were analyzed. Fourteen types of AT, 17 facilitators, 17 barriers, and 16 medical outcomes were identified in the literature. The two most frequently mentioned ATs were cognitive stimulators (9/48, 19%) and social robots (5/48, 10%). The two most frequently mentioned facilitators were caregivers want AT (8/68, 12%) and enables increased independence (7/68, 10%). The top two barriers were cost (8/75, 11%) and PWD reject AT (8/75, 11%). The top medical outcomes were improved cognitive abilities (6/69, 9%), increased activities of daily living (ADLs), and increased autonomy (each at 5/69, 7%): Zero negative outcomes were reported. Conclusion: The systematic review revealed the positive relations that occur when PWD and their caregivers use AT. Although many reservations surrounding the use of AT exist, a majority of the literature shows a positive effect of its use. Research supports a strong support for AT by caregivers due to many positive medical outcomes, but also a reticence to adopt by PWD. If ATs for PWD are a way to reduce stress on caregivers, barriers of cost and complexity need to be addressed through health policy or grants.



dementia, assistive technology, caregiver, cognitive disorder, stress, Health Administration


Kruse, C. S., Fohn, J., Umunnakwe, G., Patel, K., & Patel, S. (2020). Evaluating the facilitators, barriers, and medical outcomes commensurate with the use of assistive technology to support people with dementia: A systematic review literature. Healthcare, 2020, 8(3), 278.


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