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PO2. Care approaches

Detailed programme, abstracts and presentations

PO2.2. Exploring the role & implementation of meaningful activities supporting patients with dementia in hospital


OxIMNAR, Oxford, United Kingdom

Objectives: In acute hospital settings activity coordinators and meaningful activities for patients with dementia are being developed and implemented to support their social relationships, physical activity, and sustain physical and mental health (Jennings 2006). The aim of this study was to explore the impact of activities provided by activity co-ordinators during an acute hospital stay, with the specific objectives of how staff and relatives view the impact on the person with dementia and how the activity co-ordinators develop activities based on individual needs.

Methods: A sequential mixed methods design within an inductive interpretative phenomenological approach was applied. Activity co-ordinators, based on general medicine wards within a acute hospital routinely completed a standardised audit following each interaction with a patient with dementia, providing information on: number of interactions, activities completed and an observed impact on the patient.

Results: During data collection the activity co-ordinator provided activities for 189 patients, 80 had a diagnosis of dementia. A total of 27 questionnaires were completed. Two overarching themes emerged from the analysis: firstly, ‘reduction in boredom through stimulation’, relatives, visitors and staff agreed the activities engaged patients with dementia reducing their boredom with activities that were fun and provided warmth and enjoyment. Secondly, ‘a positive impact on patient’s with dementia’, staff reported an improvement in patient’s sleeping patterns, nutritional intake, and the belief that patients were more engaged with staff and had less falls. 

Conclusions: The data emphasized a positive impact of activity co-ordinators within an acute hospital, to provide support for patients with dementia. The activities focused on music and art as subjects for patients to engage with and the activities were person-centred taking into consideration the needs and the abilities of the patient. Both staff and relatives/visitors agreed the new focus on increasing stimulation and reducing boredom was beneficial for the patient.

PO2.3. Group singing for people with dementia: do standardised outcome measures reflect participants’ experiences?


TAnDem Doctoral Training Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Introduction: Arts activities such as singing groups for people with dementia are growing in popularity. In order to develop relevant and effective interventions, it is necessary to describe the benefits these activities might have and the mechanisms through which they occur. This feasibility study sought to explore the experiences of people with dementia and their carers who attended a singing group, and whether these experiences were reflected by standardised and novel measures.

Methods: A convenience sample of people with dementia and memory problems (n=16) and their carers (n=9) was recruited from the community to attend a weekly singing group for ten weeks. At baseline and after 10 weeks, people with dementia were interviewed and completed the Quality of Life in Alzheimer’s Disease Scale (QoL-AD) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). After each session participants completed MiDAS-SR, a self-rated measure which asks the respondent to evaluate their musical experience across five domains.

Results: The standardised outcome measures were acceptable to the participants; however there was a fairly high amount of missing data, especially for the QoL-AD. In interviews, participants reported a range of benefits, which were not reflected in the results from the QoL-AD and GDS. Although some participants found the MiDAS-SR challenging to complete, it gave a nuanced picture of musical responses which can be combined with interview data in order to understand how individual participants engaged with the sessions. The social impact of the group was reported to be beneficial by participants, but it is not clear whether and to what extent the specific experience of group singing contributed to this benefit.

Conclusion: Participant response to group singing depends on various factors, including stage of dementia and previous musical experience. Integration of qualitative and quantitative data can offer insight into the underlying mechanisms of this complex intervention.

PO2.5a. How dementia friendly art classes support unidentified carers


Dementia Friendly Communities Ltd, Helmsdale, United Kingdom

How existing dementia friendly activities in a rural village in the Scottish Highlands, particularly around a creative genre like art, were opened to more people from the community, particularly targeting carers who more often than not did not even recognise they were carers and therefore had not realised activities like art classes could in fact support them too.

HowArt ‘n Blether(Scottish jargon for ‘chatting’) was created by extending two of the most popular activities - art and chatting – to weekly tutored classes together with a Pop-up café to further stimulate social interaction

How a plan of action was developed to facilitate art and social interaction by ensuring all the art programmes were informed by all participants whilst encouragingbletherat the pop-up café during/after classes.

How members of the community who had shown an interest in learning/continuing to paint in various forms i.e. oils, acrylics, water colours, pastels etc were invited to join the classes which provided art equipment and materials i.e. easels, canvasses, variety of paints etc to suit different levels of participants.   Moreover, how a local artist became the regular tutor and discovered hidden talents amongst the art group, culminating with an art exhibition by the novice artists giving them an immense feeling of self-esteem and accomplishment.

How newsletters, flyers, posters and social media were used to specifically targetunidentifiedcarers and how the weekly classes resulted in the formation of a peer group that ultimately supported unidentified carers allowing them to feel more comfortable about speaking out about carer issues.

How a pop-up three-sided tent (giving the appearance of a European side-walk café) with tables/chairs/checked tablecloths for atmosphere and home baking provided by volunteers was used to encourage further blether.

Finally, how the programme was extended to other rural villages whilst ensuring financial self-sustainability. 

PO2.5b. How linked interactive screens support rural dementia families


Dementia Friendly Communities Ltd, Helmsdale, United Kingdom

To show how a partnership using digital technology not only connects people living with dementia in rural areas of the Scottish Highlands, but also reduces loneliness and isolation while improving their quality of life.

How a network of some ten interactive screens linked between rural community hospitals, day centres, care homes and Village Well-being Hubs result not only in accessing appropriate and stimulating material, but also by finding internet footage of local villages and countryside, start up conversations and instinctive reminiscence, often linking old friends and reducing loneliness.

How viewers access the site through a smart screen network with the site hosting a 24-hour rural television website where communities with the interactive screens access and view a variety of innovative programmes specifically created to support dementia families in rural villages e.g.:

Developing art tutorials, dance/music, even choirs allowing people with dementia at different levels to benefit – something not usually possible in rural areas

Cognitive games with dementia hospitals e.g. streaming CST modules to specific groups via linked screens

Allowing Health Professionals and people affected by dementia to interact around exercise, nutrition, diet etc. 

Giving people with dementia confidence to design and produce programmes themselves

How some of the content is broadcast live as well as archived for future viewing with members recruited within each community to aid linking those communities and encouraging socially inclusive engagement across ages and locations. 

How more resources are now better directed to interactive support via digital technology thereby reducing isolation and loneliness, while ensuring travel and face to face contact is an investment that is planned and more fairly shared across rural communities.

How co-production of this project has engaged people affected by dementia and their rural communities at every stage of its development and how this served to improve overall social cohesion.

PO2.6. Barriers and facilitators of allocating family therapy to patients with dementia and their families: health providers’ perspectives


Department of Mental Health and Psychiatry, University Hospitals, Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

Families play a central role in the lives of ageing individuals and are often involved in the care or support of older adults with dementia. This caregiving can be very challenging, and some caregivers cope better than others. Studies have shown that some of the proximal contextual factors which negatively impact the caregiving or supportive relationship include family functioning factors (Mitrani et al. 2006). Hence family therapy is likely to be beneficial in this context.

A review on family involvement in mental health services found that family involvement is still limited (Eassom et al. 2014). Family therapy is useful for the renegotiation of family roles, functions and structures, management of dementia-related losses, and transitions to institutionalized care in the context of dementia (see Benbow 2014). Although family interventions have been repeatedly recommended in several mental healthcare guidelines (e.g., NICE clinical guideline,2009 and 2014) this has not often translated into successful implementation and uptake.

Availability of family therapy is an important step towards its successful implementation and utilization. The uptake of this service would be hindered if in the first place the therapy is not made available to patients and their families for several reasons, including clinicians’ time constraints, organizational factors, a belief of families being unsupportive or detrimental to the patient’s wellbeing, or a perception that families will be overburdened by this service (see Cohen et al., 2009).

Methods, Result and Discussion: We will present findings of our ongoing Q-methodology study which explores healthcare providers’ views on the barriers and facilitators to suggesting systemic family therapy to persons with dementia and their families at a psychogeriatric inpatient unit of the Geneva University Hospitals. The results will be discussed using an illustration of a vignette with an indication for family therapy.

PO2.7. ART MAKES VISIBLE - Giving ART & DEMENTIA a space - Art therapy in dementia care at the Luxembourg Alzheimer’s Association


Association Luxembourg Alzheimer, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

In 2014, the Luxembourg Alzheimer’s Association debuted the artistic project “ART studio”.

It uses art therapy specifically in the accompaniment of people with dementia.

Art therapy & dementia:

  • Art therapy encourages the person with dementia to discover new ways of expression by being creative
  • The artistic expression allows everything
  • There is no “right” or “wrong”
  • By experiencing “artistic freedom”, the person can take pride in herself again
  • Art therapy focuses on the personality and not on the dementia


  • Holistic stimulation of individual competences
  • Discovering talents and skills
  • Promoting identity and self-esteem
  • Experiencing active participation
  • Dealing with the own biography and individual topics
  • Sensitizing for the topic of “dementia”


  • Individual setting
  • Small groups (4 participants) and workshops (up to 10 participants)
  • Combination of different creative techniques, materials & artistic styles
  • Possibility for spontaneous, intuitive an interactive creating

Reactions and results:

  • Immediate reactions: concentration – emotion – trust – experience of success
  • Long-term observations: fine-motor skills – self-confidence – participation – identification with the project – quality of life 

“ART does not reproduce the visible but MAKES VISIBLE”. Paul Klee

PO2.9. SMART4MD Project: Preliminary quality of life results in Catalonia


1Brain, Cognition and Behavior: Clinical Research. Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Terrassa, Spain, 2Hospital de Sant Jordi, Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain, Terrassa, Spain, 3Hospital Sant Llàtzez, Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Barcelona, Terrassa, Spain

Objective: There is increasing scientific evidence that technology has the potential to offer benefits to people living with dementia and their caregivers in specific circumstances and, for example, could help increase their sense of independence and quality of life (QoL). The SMART4MD project aims to develop and test a Health application specifically tailored to people with mild dementia, with the objective of improving the quality of life of people living with dementia.

Participants and Methods: SMART4MD application, evaluated by a randomized, multicenter, controlled clinical trial, already has the clinical data by 143 dyads in Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa (Barcelona, Spain). The main functions of the SMART4MD application are based on reminders, external support to be able to share the state of health with the family and the caregivers. Our target was to evaluate at baseline (before subjects starts using SMART4 MD application) the discrepancy between people with dementia (PWD) at early stage of dementia and caregivers about EuroQol-five dimensions questionnaire (EQ-5D). T Student was used to assess the differences between PWD and caregivers QoL.

Results: A total of 143 PWD and 143 caregivers have been included. PWD: MMSE = mean 23.20 (2.59) and GDS = 4.13 (3.27). 50.3% of caregivers are spouses, 32.2% are children, the remaining 17.5% others. The EQ-5D thermometer for PWD: 63.06 (21.62), while the QoL estimated by the caregivers was 56.76 (18.78), these differences are statistically significant (t = 2,63 sig = 0.009). 

Conclusions: There are discrepancies between patients at early stage of dementia and caregivers about perceived quality of life.  The caregivers QoL scores are worse than patient’s. These findings confirm that assistive technology for dementia people: a) can be tailored including caregivers needs and b) the relevance to monitor also caregivers QoL for predicting and assessing response to new interventions targeting early dementia patients.

PO2.10. How can we promote deployment and adoption of assistive technology for people with dementia? Perspectives from the ReACT study


1Danish Dementia Research Centre, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2Dementia Services Development Centre Wales, Bangor University, Bangor, United Kingdom

Various forms of assistive technology are recognized to have potential to support cognition and self-management of people with dementia, for instance apps delivered on touch-screen devices. Based on this perspective, a growing number of apps are being launched, labelled to support various needs of people living with dementia. However, in dementia research there is increasing awareness of the need to address a range of issues in relation to assistive technology which are currently not adequately explored and documented. One of these issues is the actual adoption and continued use of assistive technology by people with dementia.

The ReACT[1] study aims to investigate how an app can be designed to meet the special and individualized needs of people with dementia, and how this technology can be successfully deployed and adopted into the end-user’s everyday life.  

As part of the study, the ReACT app was designed and tested through an iterative user-involving process. It is a multi-functionality app, combining various features which support memory and structure in daily living, and the app can be adapted to match individual needs. The study also included development and assessment of methods for deployment and implementation of this kind of technology.

Results from studies that included 135 people with dementia will be presented. The studies used two diverse methods of deployment and implementation, and the data gives insight into the applicability of these methods, and into the characteristics and perspectives of people with dementia who adopted the technology, and became long-term user, compared to the groups who did not adopt the technology or abandoned it.

The study provides new results and perspectives that are important in the discussion of how assistive technology can be introduced to people with dementia in an individualized and sustainable manner.

[1] ReACT: Rehabilitation in Alzheimer’s disease using Cognitive Support Technology:

PO2.12. The importance of organizational and contextual determinants in the implementation of eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia

CHRISTIE Hannah, BARTELS Sara Laureen, BOOTS Lizzy, TANGE Huibert, VERHEY Frans, DE VUGT Marjolein

Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands

Objectives: There is a wealth of efficacy research proving eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia to be effective in improving a range of psychological outcomes in caregivers (such as the reduction of caregiver depression, anxiety, stress and burden, and increasing positive aspects of caregiving, caregiver self-efficacy, and confidence). However, little is known about how to ensure that these interventions are successfully implemented (i.e. put into practice). The objectives of this systematic review were to (1) identify the literature on the implementation of eHealth interventions for informal caregivers of people with dementia, and (2) map the determinants of the successful implementation of these interventions.

Methods:Online databases were searched for articles about eHealth interventions for informal caregivers of people with dementia, providing information on their implementation. Articles were independently screened and inductively analyzed using qualitative analysis. The analysis was mapped onto Damschroder et al.,'s Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research.

Findings: 46 articles containing 204 statements on implementation were included. The statements on implementation were grouped into four categories: Determinants associated with the eHealth application, informal caregiver, implementing organization, or wider context. Mapping of the determinants on the CFIR revealed that studies have focused mostly on characteristics of the intervention and informal caregiver. Limited attention has been paid to organizational determinants and the wider context.

Conclusions: Despite prolific effectiveness and efficacy research on eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia, there is a critical dearth of implementation research. Furthermore, there is a mismatch between eHealth intervention research and implementation frameworks, especially concerning organizational factors and wider context. Without this knowledge, these interventions will be hard-pressed to convince stakeholders and decision makers of their practical use, and thus allow these innovative and exciting interventions to make a difference in the lives of the caregivers who should benefit from them.

PO2.13. Mapping the implementation trajectories of eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia

CHRISTIE Hannah1, MARTIN Jennifer2, CONNOR Jade1, TANGE Huibert1, VERHEY Frans1, DE VUGT Marjolein1, ORRELL Martin3

1Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2Mindtech, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 3University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Objectives: Informal caregivers are essential to providing home-based care for people with dementia. However, they often experience significant physical and psychological problems themselves as a result of this caregiving process. Reviews have shown that eHealth interventions for informal caregivers of people with dementia are effective in improving a range of outcomes in caregivers. Unfortunately, research investigating the factors that affect eHealth interventions’ implementation is scarce, creating difficulties for health system planners and implementers who aim to translate them into practice. The objectives of this study are to (1) shed light on these environmental factors by describing the typical trajectories of eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia, and (2) map recurring barriers and facilitators of their implementation.

Methods: To follow up on a selection of high-quality eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia, all of the included authors in Boots’ 2014 review: ‘A systematic review of Internet-based supportive interventions for caregivers of people with dementia’ have been contacted to assess what has become of the included interventions. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to the authors, with questions on their implementation trajectories and recommendations for future developers and implementers.

Results: Final responses are expected by June 2018, with final qualitative analyses being expected by July 2018.

Conclusions: This research will provide knowledge on the current state of these previous state-of-the-art interventions, helping avoid recurring pitfalls and highlighting beneficial approaches through recommendations. By doing so, it will shed light on understudied but essential aspects of eHealth interventions: implementation (with a special focus on organizational and contextual factors), and sustainability after the trial phase. As a result, health system planners and implementers will be able to use these findings to make eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia more readily available to those that need them.

PO2.14. PLAYTIME: Motivation, Emotion and Assessment in Serious Games for Dementia Intervention

PALETTA Lucas1, FELLNER Maria1, SNAPHAAN Liselore2, BONGERS Inge3, STEINER Josef4, PANAGL Mariella4, LERCH Alexander5, VANDER STICHELE Geert6, KOSTER Ernst7

1JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Graz, Austria, 2Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg Eindhoven en de Kempen, Einhoven, Netherlands, 3Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands, 4Sozialverein Deutschlandsberg, Deutschlandsberg, Austria, 5FameL GmbH, Seiersberg, Austria, 6MindBytes , Ghent, Belgium, 7Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

The effect of serious games for cognitive stimulation of people with dementia has been thoroughly tackled on several lines of intervention. However, it has been identified that the impact of motivational support and emotion requires more investigation in the context of serious games and dementia. Sensitive understanding and assistance in the psychosocial contexts and persistent behaviour change through the engagement of people might not only play an important role in the adoption and acceptance by the end users, but probably beyond this, enable a substantial increase of activation, awareness, positive stimulation for persons with dementia. Emotion-oriented care approaches are in principle known to offer the opportunity to tailor the care to the individual needs of dementing elderly. Emotion and cognition not only strongly interact in the brain but are often integrated so that they jointly contribute to behaviour. Assessment in this context is highly relevant to make efficient use of the monitoring of consequences in daily life over long periods of time.

We present first results of the European project PLAYTIME and envision future trajectories in the field: (1) Indicators for cognitive assessment were implemented using web camera based eye tracking for eye movement analysis in videogames with the asset of cognitive control tests. (2) Capacity for physical activities and balance were assessed with a wearable sensor based motion test that is automatically evaluated. (3) Psycho-social aspects were analysed from a newly developed serious game component that extracts feature from decision making in role play. Finally, we present results from the first field study about the usability of these innovative components.

The key objective of the theratainment intervention is to increase quality of life of dementia patients but also of caregivers and getting capable to stay active at home as long as possible.

PO2.15. Adapting an eHealth support course (Partner in Balance) for relatives of people with young onset dementia


Maastricht University (Alzeheimer Centre Limburg), Maastricht, Netherlands

An increasing body of literature recognizes the unique manifestation, high burden and life phase specific issues that caregivers of people with dementia at young age encounter. To meet the needs of family members of people with young onset dementia (YOD) we currently tailor the ‘Partner in Balance’ program ( to the needs of partners and other relatives (i.e. children, brothers and sisters and parents) of people with YOD. 

Partner in Balans is an eight week blended care (both face-to-face and online) course for early-stage dementia caregivers. Together with health care professionals (i.e. psychologists and social workers) and family members of people with YOD we tailor the content of the course to their needs. We for example added life phase specific topics about employment, worries about heredity and changes that occur within the family. We also work on making new video content to ensure a higher level of recognition among the younger audience. 

Last month we started a pilot study in which partners of people with YOD follow four of the modules during an eight-week period in time. In July we also hope to start a pilot in which other family members partake the course. During the pilot participants complete a questionnaire before and after the course and post-intervention interviews with both participants and healthcare professionals are conducted. Their input will be used to further tailor ‘Partner in Balans’ to their needs. 

At Alzheimer Europe conference I would like to present some of the adaptions that we (researchers, health professionals and family members) have made to the course to tailor it to the specific needs of the family members of people with YOD.

PO2.16. Software supported musical memory priming and eliciting emotions for people with Alzheimer’s disease


1WSWOP Hospicjum Domowe, Poznan, Poland, 2 MusicLine, Poland

Coding of information is conditioned upon effective processes of perception, integration and interpretation of external stimuli. There are reported connections between mnestic functions and the accompanying emotions, especially in the context of auditory coding and the sense of mental well-being. Music therapy projects based on individualized experiences are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. However, therapists working with people with dementia find this approach difficult to implement, due to the time-consuming task of information gathering and scarcity of available resources. This paper introduces MusicLine project, which is aimed at creating computer software supporting therapies of memory in Alzheimer’s, based on the restitution of autobiographical memories and emotional induction with the help of music.

In this paper we present a software framework for analysis of data from personal experiences (events, interactions) and building individual profiles encoding emotionally relevant information. Such profiles can then be used for automatic generation of playlists that meet selected therapeutic goals, like activating and supporting linguistic reactions, inducing positive emotions in states of anxiety or supporting the sense of continuity. These playlists can be applied in therapeutic sessions to improve the well-being of people with AD, in different scenarios involving both caregivers and therapists.

The project is under development and we are focused on personally relevant music objects: songs, artists, while developing foundations of the framework (e.g. definitions of metrics), we apply it to experimentally verify our assumptions and design choices. We are working on a series of experiments aimed at helping us in automation of profiles’ creation and their usage in generation of playlists meeting predefined therapeutic goals and requirements. The practical goals are related to providing musical support in the process of restoring individual memories and using familiar pieces of music to modulate mood in people with dementia.

The paper includes initial results and conclusion from completed experiments.

PO2.17a. Training people with dementia and their caregivers in the use of a web-based support tool: Lessons learned

WOLVERSON Emma, OXTOBY Katie, PAULSON Kevin, WHITE Caroline, HOWE David, PLATT Rebecca, DUNN Rosie

University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom

The use of web-based technologies can be beneficial for people living with dementia (PLWD) and their caregivers as well as enhancing relationships with health professionals. However, access to the technology alone does not reap these benefits; PLWD and their caregivers require a programme of engagement, training and ongoing support that meets their specific needs in order to realise the benefits of digital technologies.

CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD is a web-based platform designed for PLWD and their caregivers currently being trialled at four pilot sites across Europe. As part of the UK pilot, a package of 1-to-1 support, group training sessions, information sheets and a user-guide has been developed to support successful implementation of the platform. Preliminary user data suggests that participation in the training programme correlates with increased engagement.

The UK team has developed a Best Practice Guide for training people with dementia and their caregivers in the use of web-based technologies, informed by qualitative data from focus groups, interviews, feedback forms, and platform user data. This paper will present our findings in relation to best practice, lessons learned and recommendations as outlined in the Best Practice Guide. The guide has the potential to inform future research and roll-out of a range of digital technologies internationally, thereby increasing the chance of successful implementation and delivering best value for money for healthcare providers as well as increasing positive outcomes for PLWD and their caregivers.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 690211.

PO2.17b. CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD: An online platform to support people living with dementia and their carers –UK pilot update

WOLVERSON Emma, DUNN Rosie, WHITE Caroline, THORPE Jonathan, HOWE David, OXTOBY Katie, PLATT Rebecca, PAULSON Kevin

University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom

CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD is a social networking and information sharing platform, designed for People with Dementia (PwD)/Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and their carers. It is an online, self-help community, where users can befriend and interact with one another, access information and advice, keep an online journal, set appointment reminders and play cognitive stimulation games. The platform is monitored and updated by researchers; users are supported by individual and group training sessions.

Four European pilot sites are participating in the project: UK, France, Italy and Spain. The current paper is a progress report on the UK site’s experiences and findings to date.

95 dyads were recruited and randomly allocated to a control (n=46) or intervention (n=49) group from November 2017 to March 2018.

Preliminary findings suggest that participants value meeting others online; however, the concept of ‘friending’ others online is unfamiliar to some. Participants appear to value receiving information on and discussing a range of issues, including those which are not solely focused on dementia and caring; this includes sharing positive experiences over and beyond problems. Online games are popular and appear to have increased engagement with the platform for some. Users’ previous experience with ICT varies across the group, therefore individual and group training has been provided. This has been important in promoting learning and efficacy and appears to have increased engagement and use of the platform.

This finding suggests that any technology intervention offered to PwD and their carers cannot survive as a stand-alone intervention and requires training support from its provider. The delivery of training and support for users is therefore an important consideration in the future deployment of ICT solutions for PwD and their carers.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 690211.

PO2.18. Key stakeholders’ perceptions of assistive technology to support people with dementia living at home

DALY Louise1, KEOGH Brian1, BRADY Anne-Marie1, BRACKEN-SCALLY Mairéad1, CIBLIS Aurelia1, HYNES Geralyn1, KENNELLY Brendan2, MCCARRON Mary1

1Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 2National Univerisy of Ireland. Galway, Ireland

Background: The use of assistive technology (AT) to support people with dementia to live well at home has gained increasing attention. During two pilot projects, AT packages were provided as part of enhanced community supports for people living with dementia. The authors were commissioned to evaluate the pilot projects.

Aim: The aim of this presentation is to discuss the findings in relation to key stakeholders’ perceptions of the use of assistive technology for people with dementia living at home.   

Methods: The findings are drawn from the qualitative arm of the evaluation. Interviews were conducted with people with dementia and family carers, and individual interviews and focus groups were held with service providers. Seventeen people with dementia and their family carers (n=17), and fifty-eight (n=58) service providers took part across the two project sites.

Findings: The assistive technology included fall detectors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, bed occupancy sensors, pillow alerts, personal alarms, and property exit sensors. There was a mixed reaction to the AT. In one project site, uptake was less than anticipated, as it was not perceived as useful given the person with dementia’s individual needs at that particular time. There were also reports of confusion as to the role of the AT and a lack of knowledge about how to use it by people with dementia. There were some positive reports with family carers suggesting that the technology provided some peace of mind. Service providers noted that applications for AT involved excessive paperwork and were sometimes unsuccessful.

Conclusion: Under-utilisation of AT may have occurred because the technology provided was inconsistent with the wants, needs or abilities of those it was provided to. The range of AT provided emphasised safety. More appropriate options may have been considered in light of individual needs given their stage in the dementia journey.  

PO2.20. Communication between people with memory loss and carers on a closed online social network: a theoretical thematic analysis using Seligman’s PERMA model of wellbeing.

PLATT Rebecca, WOLVERSON Emma, DUNN Rosie, HOWE David, OXTOBY Katie, THORPE Jonathan, PAULSON Kevin, WHITE Caroline

University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom

Whilst much literature focusses on thedifficultiesfaced by people with memory loss and carerburden, there is also growing emphasis amongst healthcare professionals to ensure people with memory loss and their carers have the opportunity tolive well. This has resulted in an increased interest in contributions made by positive psychology to our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie wellbeing. However, memory loss poses a significant research design challenge: how can data be captured from participants whose recollection of subjective life experiences may be fleeting? Interviews or questionnaires are inappropriate for participants who are likely to live from moment to moment. Social media is a medium with the capability to capture feelings and events as they occur. It gives individuals who may struggle with verbal communication the opportunity to record and share their thoughts and observations by using visual images as well as language. Furthermore, it gives carers who may be isolated access to social interaction. For certain populations, social media provides liberation from the space and time-bound constraints of other forms of communication.

Theoretical thematic analysis was used to examine posts made by 49 people with memory loss and 49 carers over a 3-month period on the closed social network platform, CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD. Posts, comments and photographs were coded using Seligman’s PERMA model (positive emotion, engagement with activity, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment). Operational definitions for each category of Seligman’s model were identified. Data that could not be coded was identified and analysed to determine whether a new category or sub-category was required.

Results indicate participants experienced a range of positive emotions. The social network provided an opportunity to share subjective, positive experiences with others in both language and image form. Findings highlight the need to understand and facilitate positive communication amongst people living with memory loss and their carers.

PO2.21. Results from the pilot trials of a robot assistant for MCI and early AD patients at home


UIC-Barcelona, Spain, Barcelona, Spain

Introduction: Robotic Assistant for MCI Patients at home (RAMCIP) is a research project funded by the Horizon2020 Program that has developed a service robot to support MCI and early Alzheimer disease (AD) patients in activities of daily living (ADL). The prototype of the robot has been tested in real home environments in Barcelona. Here, our aim is to present preliminary results of the human-robot interaction.

Materials and methods: During 5 months, 12 participants (5 MCI and 7 early AD patients) tested 15 functionalities of the RAMCIP robot at their homes during 10 days. We assessed usability, acceptability and societal impact, using Attrakdiff, User´s experience questionnaire (UEQ) and a questionnaire design ad-hoc respectively.

Results: Preliminary Attrakdiff results showed sufficient performance: Pragmatic quality (PQ): 0.76, Hedonic quality-identification (HQ-I): 1.19, Hedonic quality-stimulation (HQ-S): 0.90 and Attractiveness (ATT): 1.05. Furthermore, the HQ (1.05) of the robot was greater than the PQ (0.76), and it was perceived as self-oriented.

UEQ results were compared to a benchmark data set and we found the HQ (1.47) was higher than the PQ (0.86) and the ATT (1.08). In the societal impact questionnaire 62.5% of the potential users agreed that if they had a robot it will be easier for them to solve problems connected with ADL; but for the caretakers there was not agreement neither disagreement with the idea of a robot successfully taking over the duties of a man in some activities of caring for the elderly.

Conclusions: RAMCIP robot was perceived as useful and participants were willing to use it. Overall, HQ showed better results, because the robot was perceived as original and stimulating.

PO2.22. Assistive technology to support memory in people with dementia: a systematic review

WENBORN Jennifer1, VAN DER ROEST Henriëtte2, PASTINK Channah2, DRÖES Rose-Marie2, ORRELL Martin3

1University College London, London, United Kingdom, 2VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 3Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Introduction: Many electronic assistive technology (AT) devices have been developed to support people with dementia and their carers to manage their daily activities and to enhance safety. Some devices including electronic pill boxes, picture phones, or mobile tracking devices are already commercially available and provided in practice via health and social care services. However, there was no systematic review of studies focusing on the efficacy of AT to support memory in people with dementia.

Objectives: The primary objective of this Cochrane systematic review was to assess the efficacy of AT for memory support in people with dementia in terms of daily performance of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and dependency.

Method: A systematic search of relevant databases, including grey literature was conducted, adapting the search strategy as necessary.  Two authors screened all titles and Abstracts. Study inclusion criteria required studies to be: a randomised controlled trial (RCT) or cluster RCT, with blinded assessment of outcome, evaluating an electronic AT device provided with the aim of supporting memory function in people diagnosed with dementia.

Results: No studies met the inclusion criteria.

Conclusion: This review highlighted the lack of robust evidence to support the use of electronic AT to support memory in people living with dementia, despite its provision being recommended as good practice.  The complex methodological challenges involved in evaluating such devices need to be addressed, including: ethical concerns; standardising the terminology used to describe AT; and designing ‘needs based’ rather than ‘intervention based studies so that the AT can be personalised to the individual.

It is important to establish an evidence base for a potentially beneficial intervention to support memory problems as this is the unmet need most frequently reported by people with dementia and their carers. 

PO2.23. Evaluation of a robotic assistant for MCI and early AD patients at home: RAMCIP pilot trials in Barcelona


UIC-Barcelona, Spain, Barcelona, Spain

Introduction: The Horizon2020 Program funded the projectRobotic Assistant for MCI Patients at home(RAMCIP)that developed a service robot with the collaboration of eight European partners. The aim is to support MCI and early AD patients in activities of daily living (ADLs) and to test RAMCIP robot in a real home environment in Barcelona.

Materials and methods: 8 subjects (4 MCI and 4 early AD patients) participated in pilot trials during 10 days (7 days for Human-Robot Interaction and 3 for set-up and evaluation) from October 2017 to February 2018. We tested 14 functionalities of the robot connected to ADLs and defined for the purpose of this project (List 1): 9 high and 5 medium priority use cases.

Results: Preliminary results show that all use cases have been sufficiently performed in each house with various robot interventions depending on user state and environment constraints. Fall detection was possible to test only in 4 participants (50%) due to age-related motor impairment.

Conclusions: The RAMCIP project vision is of future service robots that can assist patients with MCI and early AD patients, helping them to preserve independent living and quality of life. The use cases evaluated in RAMCIP pilot trials were feasible and safe.

List 1: Use cases evaluated during pilot trials

High Priority: Fall detection. Screening for user´s general condition. Gas/Smoke detection. Assist in turning off electric appliances. Turning on the light. Detection of improperly placed objects. Detection of unknown persons/strangers. Taking medication/food supplements reminders, bringing and monitoring. Assistance upon detection of abnormalities related to electric appliances during cooking.

Medium Priority: Proactive/on demand bringing food ingredientes or a utensil. Assistance (proactive/on demand) for fallen objects. Proactive bringing of a bottle of water. Communication with relatives and friends. Provision of cognitive training programs.

PO2.25. Paving the way to a national online network of peer support groups for people with dementia

STELLA Eloisa, LEORIN Cristian

Associazione Novilunio Onlus, Padua, Italy

The impact of internalized stigma in Italy is still so harsh and systemic that to this day there are no public advocates that promote the perspectives of Italian with dementia. The phenomenon of peer support groups mushrooming across the world is demonstrating that when people with dementia are given the opportunity to share their own perspectives in safe and socially nurturing environments, they also often feel empowered to voice their views and opinions public arenas. In fact, when the voices of people with dementia are heard inside and outside their own homes, not only their rights and needs become more urgent and tangible, but the perception of dementia also becomes more humane and less stigmatized.

Inspired by the experience of international online grassroots organizations such as Dementia Mentors and Dementia Alliance International, earlier this year Italian not-for-profit association Novilunio launched the first online peer support group for people living with dementia. Accessible to anyone who has an internet connection and a smartphone or a PC, the initiative enables group participants to meet in videoconference on a weekly basis to exchange personal stories, mutual support and insiders’ tips to live a good life beyond their diagnosis.  The first of its kind in our country and winner the 2017 EFID Award - a joint-programme led by foundations whose mission is to improve the lives of people with dementia across Europe – the project is designed to foster the collaboration among people living with dementia and create the guidelines that will pave the way to a national network of online peer support groups. In addition, their collective expertise is guiding Novilunio in the creation of new services, activities and material that promote a more balanced and sustainable way of living well with a dementia diagnosis.  

PO2.27. Combining mathematical model and catecholamine quantifications to screen AD from a simple blood test

VERPILLOT Romain1, TACCOLA Camille1, COGNAT Emmanuel2, GABELLE Audrey3, GARNIER Jean-Pierre4, MORENO Nabila4, LEHMANN Sylvain3, OTTO Markus5, THIRIEZ Hervé1, PAQUET Claire6

1Alzohis, Paris, France, 2Cognitive Neurology Center, GH Saint-Louis - Lariboisière - Fernand-Widal, APHP, Paris, France, 3Laboratoire de Biochimie Protéomique Clinique - CHU Montpellier, Montpellier, France, 4Biochemistry Laboratory, Saint-Louis University, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, Université Paris Descartes, Faculty of Pharmacy, Paris, France, 5University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany, 6Université Paris Diderot, INSERM U942 APHP, Cognitive Neurology Center, Paris, France

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and amyloid-PET reliably reflect brain neuropathological AD lesions leading to their inclusion into AD criteria. However, these biomarkers are costly and invasive and new simple biomarkers are needed. Several studies have established a link between morphological and functional changes occurring in the monoaminergic ascending system and the physiopathology of AD. Noradrenaline (NA)-containing neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) are the main source of noradrenergic inputs to numerous regions throughout the brain. Due to its widespread efferent innervation, the LC projection system plays a pivotal regulatory role in processes such as stress and maintenance of cognitive performance. Gannon et al. have reported that a significant loss and damage of noradrenergic neurons in LC occurs in AD. In this work we present our preliminary results demonstrating that the simultaneous quantitation of 3 catecholamines (CAs) could be a potential new plasma AD biomarker. In this retrospective study, we quantified epinephrine, norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) levels in plasma from patients investigated for neurocognitive disorders (NC), other neurological diseases without dementia (CON), and healthy controls (HC). CAs quantifications were performed by HPLC coupled with electrochemical detection. A mathematical model was developed to discriminate AD from other neurocognitive diseases. Plasma from 202 participants, including 30 AD, were analyzed. A distinctive CAs signature in AD patients was observed comparatively to NC and CON groups. A positive correlation between MMSE score and noradrenaline concentrations was observed. This method displays a good discrimination power regarding AD patients with 80 % in sensitivity and 97 % in specificity. Mathematical scores based on plasma CAs quantitation allowed us to clearly distinguish AD patients from NC and CON. Large prospective studies are needed to confirm that CAs are blood biomarkers for the screening of AD.

PO2.28. Towards an effective use of virtual reality for nonpharmacological cognitive intervention in AD and related diseases


LifeSTech, ETSIT, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Handling the care needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) represents nowadays a personal, familial and social challenge of enormous proportions, which poses an ever-growing human and economic burden on the world’s society in general. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have the potential to make a considerable impact to help revert this trend, especially through the use of advanced virtual reality (VR)-based computerized diagnostic and therapeutic cognitive interventions. We consistently noticed that the overall efficacy of existing VR-based interventions is frequently difficult to establish on the basis of results gathered from assessments and clinical trials. It became evident to us after exhaustive examination of numerous individual studies and relevant systematic reviews and meta-analyses that this uncertainty derives mostly from: the lack of consistent methodologies across trials and VR systems, absence of generalizable results, and the existence of many uncoordinated efforts of individual heterogeneous studies. Therefore, we join others in suggesting the development of methodological and technical common procedures for VR cognitive interventions.

Although, it seems as the development of computerised cognitive training tools has fallen into the perpetual common dilemma of scientific and technological research, the motivation should always be providing better interactive and sensory-rich environments that will empower the cognitive intervention experience in order to more effectively express its diagnostic or therapeutic intended potentialities. Novel methodological design frameworks to provide guidance to researchers and developers with the design process of VR-based tools should be followed to increase the effectiveness and efficacy of VR-based cognitive interventions. The reliance on intense multidisciplinary collaboration, as other technologically-based solutions for health care, is a particular feature of developing VR-based cognitive interventions for ADRD, that are expected from other experiences, to increase the probability of far transfer to real daily life situations and to other not-trained activity domains (far transfer capacity).

PO2.29. Automation Home Platform based on tablet for improving the independence of people with dementia at their residence

SELMES Jacques1, BRUNETE Alberto2

1FAE, Madrid, Spain, 2UPM, MADRID, Spain

Currently, one of the major problems that arise to non-professional caregivers is how to reconcile their daily life (work and care for their own family) with the care of the affected, which usually demand a lot of time.

The main purpose is to analyze the needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers in terms of information and communications technology (ICT) and home automation, and how to foster the use of smart devices in their homes and also, to determine whether the use of ICT can extend people with Alzheimer’s disease stay at home in the first stages of the illness, while facilitating their caregivers’ tasks.

Of course this platform will make sense in the early stages of the disease, when the patient is still able to achieve self-care but need extra help with activities requiring greater cognitive demands.

It Is expected to get a prototype system comprising various devices that are easily installable and reduced cost, supported by a control system based on (Android) tablet that allows the patient perform daily tasks receiving help at any time, whether visual or auditory.

This project is born as a result of the work done by the “DomAlz Working Group”, in which cooperating “CEDINT” (Centre of Integral automation of the Polytechnic University of Madrid), “Carlos III University of Madrid” and the “Spanish Alzheimer's Foundation” (FAE), which has as objective the application of home automation technology in people with dementia daily lives and their caregivers.  

ICT and home automation advances could be very useful if used conveniently. Caregivers consider that smart homes can help people with Alzheimer’s disease in the security, leisure and daily tasks fields, increasing the time they can live alone in their own homes.

PO2.30. Natural Language Processing for supporting and improving dementia screening tests


University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden

With an increasing aging pyramid, the number of people with cognitive impairment has grown at a high rate. This is a demographic problem with socioeconomic implications since various types of dementia has grown steadily over the years. However, long before the clinical onset symptoms of dementia,patients exhibit deficits in their oral and written communication and visual short-term memory, signs that could be measured and serve as evidence to predict poor cognitive health in late life. Most types of dementia are progressive and likely to begin years before noticeable clinical symptoms. We present an ongoing project which applies and explores automatic linguistic analysis to language samples produced by persons at various stages of cognitive decline in order to identify linguistic markers that can be used as a complementary, early diagnostic, and screening tool. Recent research has suggested that analysis of speech and language may lead to the discovery of sensitive and non-invasive behavioral biomarkers of dementia. Language, or rather linguistic performance, is various forms of spoken or written language production and comprehension, accessible language-based interaction through conversation and measures from an eye tracker device during reading. Specifically, the project conducts interdisciplinary research in the area of Natural Language Processing in collaboration with neuropsychologists from the local memory clinic. Automated techniquescanprovide objective measures of dementia. The project’s results have the potential to prove its practicability in terms of new and improved scanning instruments that in the near future can be used for large scale population screening in order to allow more rational, early (pre-clinical) intervention strategies using (new) pharmaceutical agents as well as methods affecting behavioral patterns. Sensitive screening tools are also of crucial importance in selecting participants for clinical trials since disease-modifying medications are most likely to be successful at the earliest stages of dementia.

PO2.31. Coach Assistant via Projected and Tangible Interface (CAPTAIN) for older adults including those living with CI

HOPPER Louise1, DIAZ-ORUETA Unai2, KONSTANTINIDIS Evdokimos3,4, BAMIDIS Panagiotis4, on behalf of the CAPTAIN CONSORTIUM5

1Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, 2Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland, 3Nively sas, Nice, France 4Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece, 5 Greece

The quality of life of older adults is often impacted by a loss of autonomy and independence that can arise due to cognitive impairment, neurodegenerative disorders, functionality disability, and other frailty indicators. Ambient Assistive Living (AAL) environments that monitor behavioural, cognitive and emotional states can support an individual more effectively than traditional care alone. Yet, their use remains low, perhaps due to the failure to involve end users in their design.

The Coach Assistant via Projected Tangible Interface (CAPTAIN) H2020-funded project aims to develop a radically new Human Computer Interface (HCI) that uses micro-projectors and projected augmented reality to provide assistance whenever and where ever it is needed. CAPTAIN technology utilises smart home appliances to turn a room into a tangible, interactive and user-friendly interface capable of capturing relevant physiological, behavioural and user-interactions through unobtrusive means. CAPTAIN also provides cognitive and physical training through serious games to increase engagement levels and a motivational coach that provides personalised guidance designed to enhance an individual’s engagement in cognitive activity, social interaction and healthy nutritional and exercise habits.

CAPTAIN harnesses the power of Living Labs (LLs), a vibrant stakeholder community and a multi-disciplinary team with clinical, technology, business, economic, policy and people with lived experience to ensure a truly user-centred co-creation approach that will be sustained throughout the development lifecycle. CAPTAIN will be design, developed and tested in five LLs (Thess-AHALL, INTRAS Living Lab, NIVELY, AMEN and AUSILIA), in long-term residential care (AMEN) and in the real homes of older adults including people living with cognitive impairment. Developed from many years of research in the active and healthy ageing domain, CAPTAIN will design the future home where smart assistance enhances the usefulness and effectiveness of personalised supports and enables independence and ageing in place.

PO2.32. Effects on subjective well-being and self-efficacy in Amnestic MCI people to one session exposure to recent autobiographical information.


1Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Terrassa, Spain,2Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Objective: Recent findings have suggested that exposure to autobiographical episodes captured by a lifelogging wearable camera generates an improvement in the subjective well-being in people with memory impairment. We aim to investigate whether one session exposure to autobiographical episode can increase subjective well-being and memory self-efficacy in Amnestic-MCI (aMCI) patients.

Participants and Methods: The sample included seventeen subjects diagnosed of aMCI (53% males), mean age of 74.9 years (SD 3.41) and mean MMSE score of 27 (SD 1.62). Participants received individualized training on wearing a small wearable lifelogging camera that takes pictures automatically every 30 seconds and then they were requested to take the camera during one day while they were doing their daily activities. The images captured by the camera were subsequently processed by computer vision algorithms and it was generated a movie that contained the most relevant information of one autobiographical episode. The intervention consisted of an individualized single session of exposure to the autobiographical episode in which the patient visualized the movie emphasizing paying attention to the different details of the episode. During the exposure the patient was encouraged to relive that episode. The procedure was repeated 3 times. Before and after the exposure treatment, patients answered a self-questionnaire about subjective well-being and self-efficacy for memory (score range 0-100).

Results: All patients showed higher scores in the self-questionnaire at the end of the intervention session (mean score of 81.9 –SD 12.3- before the intervention vs 84.4 –SD 11- after the intervention), with a p=0.016 (Wilcoxon signed rank), and an effect size of 0.26 (Cohen’s d).

Conclusions: One session exposure to recent autobiographical information generates an increase in subjective well-being and in the perception of self-efficacy in people with aMCI. The new assistive technology devices as lifelogging cameras can become a promising intervention for people with memory impairments.

PO2.33. ICT based instruments for dementia and cognitive impairment screening. Systematic literature review.

GARCÍA-CASAL Jesús Antonio1,2, TORIBIO GUZMÁN José Miguel2, CSIPKE Emese3, PEREA-BARTOLOMÉ María Victoria1, FRANCO-MARTÍN Manuel2

1University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain, 2INTRAS Foundation, Zamora, Spain, 3University College London, London, United Kingdom

Objectives: The aim of this systematic literature review was to examine the availability of literature on monitoring devices, the internet and virtual reality employed as screening instruments for cognitive impairment and dementia.  Validity, reliability and usability were of particular interest.

Methods: Electronic searches identified 2127 articles of which 41 met the inclusion criteria and were grouped into test batteries, measures of isolated tasks, behavioural measures and diagnostic tools.

Results: Forty-one articles, depicting 39 instruments met the inclusion criteria. All the selected articles were cross sectional descriptive studies. Twenty were based on monitoring devices, 12 on the internet and 7 on virtual reality. Twenty-seven instruments reported good discriminant validity in the detection of cognitive impairment, and 15 reported good discriminant validity in the detection of dementia, with six providing good specificity and sensitivity values. Eighteen instruments could be used at home, while 6 had the potential to be home delivered. Even though 16 instruments reported information associated to usability, none of them investigated usability or accessibility. Six instruments reported information about user´s experience.

Conclusions: Research suggests that there is a need to further develop screening for dementia through monitoring devices and virtual reality. Internet and virtual reality based instruments should look to monitoring devices to improve their possibility of offering independent home based administration. Providing the amount and diversity of instruments reviewed, it would be advisable to use those which have been validated and standardised for older adults. Usability studies and end users’ participation should be included in the design protocols of screening instruments.



Last Updated: Thursday 15 November 2018


  • Acknowledgements

    The 28th AE Conference in Barcelona received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). Alzheimer Europe, CEAFA and Fundación Alzheimer España gratefully acknowledge the support of all conference sponsors.
  • European Union
  • Roche