A Mobile App for Observing Dementia Behaviours

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Andrea Iaboni, Affiliate Scientist

Project Title: A Mobile Application for Direct Behavioural Observation in Dementia

What is the issue?

Many people with dementia use behaviours like gestures to communicate that their personal, social or physical needs are not being met. These personal expressions can cause distress, lead to a lower quality of life, and increase physical risk for them and their caregivers.

What did we do?

We developed and tested a web-based mobile application called Dementia Observations (DObs) to help healthcare team members record and better manage personal expressions by residents with dementia living in long-term care. The mobile app captures and summarizes observational data in reports.

What did we find?

Among twelve healthcare team members in two studies, most of them completed tasks correctly in the app, especially the initial tasks. Most team workers found the app to be useful but identified a need to integrate its use into daily workflow better. Some staff left the devices behind in care stations as they were concerned about safely carrying a mobile device when performing physically-challenging care activities.