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RemindMe – an interactive reminder support for self-care in older people with cognitive impairment 

 

Progress - RemindMe

Publication - RemindMe

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Cognitive impairments are common in older ages and might be the result of diseases such as stroke or dementia. For example each year about 25000 Swedish persons get a stroke and one third of these will have residual difficulties such as memory problems that will influence their participation in society. Assistive technology (AT) is used to enable persons to participate in society and live an active life. However, to date AT most often are designed for people with physical impairments and not for persons with cognitive impairments such as memory problems. One reason for this might be lack of knowledge on how to design AT for people with cognitive impairments, for whom learning to use a new device might be extra challenging. However, recent years advances in new technology have opened new possibilities for persons with cognitive impairments.

RemindMe is a non-stigmatising web-based mobile reminder system that has been developed by the research group in collaboration with Monkey dancers (IT cooperate business). Based on earlier research it is specifically developed for persons with memory problems who need support in planning, remembering and executing daily activities. The user plans weekly activities in a web-based diary and chooses which ones are to have reminders. The diary will then subsequently send reminders by text messages to the user's own mobile phone. If desired and needed the planning is done in collaboration with a support person, and if so the diary is accessible for both parts at the web. The user actively confirm whether or not he/she will perform the planned activity by answering the text message with a yes or no which is saved in the interactive feedback loop. The feedback loop provides the user and support person with a graphic summary of planned activities with reminders, frequency and intensity of reminders and results of the reminders in order to monitor success and failure and support future planning. A quality control of RemindMe has had good results in people without cognitive impairments. Currently a first evaluation of RemindMe is performed in a limited group of people with a variety of cognitive impairments and their family carers.

Aim: To examine the effectiveness and usability of a new non-stigmatising, user-friendly, web-based mobile reminder system (RemindMe) which supports older people with cognitive impairments in planning, remembering and executing activities in everyday life.

Methods: A wait-list control group design will be performed to examine effectiveness and usability of RemindMe in persons with cognitive impairments. Measures before, after and at follow-up will focus on performed activities, satisfaction with occupational performance, participation and autonomy, and perceived health. In addition, focus groups interviews are planned with both users and support persons concerning their experiences of RemindMe as support for remembering and executing everyday activities. Data generated by the RemindMe feedback loop will be used throughout the project to measure the amount of activities with reminders, frequency of reminders before response and executed planned activities over time. In a first step about 30 participants will be included. Thereafter a multicentre RCT study is planned.

Impact: This project will strengthen the evidence base on the effects of using a reminder AT in older persons with cognitive impairments. It is expected to facilitate independence and participation in daily activities of older persons with cognitive impairments and may improve security and safety. This increased knowledge on how new technology can support independence and participation in everyday activities for persons with cognitive impairments is valuable for societal institutions and clients organisations.

What is new: AT for persons with cognitive impairments is lacking. The interactive feedback loop provides the user with statistics of reminders and fulfilled activities and by that an accurate base for self-monitoring, evaluation and further planning. The feedback loop also makes it possible for a support person to follow whether or not a user performs planned activities in real-time on the web.