Digital Health Technology to Support Health Care Professionals and Family Caregivers Caring for Patients With Cognitive Impairment: Scoping Review

JMIR Ment Health. 2023 Jan 11;10:e40330. doi: 10.2196/40330.


BACKGROUND: Digital health technology is a promising way of supporting health care providers and family caregivers as they care for patients with cognitive impairment.

OBJECTIVE: This scoping review aimed to portray the use of digital health technology to assist health care providers and family caregivers in caring for patients with cognitive impairment who live in the community or in a facility.

METHODS: We conducted a scoping review of peer-reviewed scientific articles available in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Scopus, and CINAHL with Full Text, as well as gray literature available in preprint servers, theses depositories, and various national and international dementia organizations’ websites. The search yielded 975 articles, of which we included 7 (0.7%) in the review.

RESULTS: Of the 7 interventions included in the retrieved manuscripts, 2 (29%) were digital calendar reminder systems to support activities of daily living and medication management; 2 (29%) were apps on tablet devices to simulate the presence of family before therapy interventions; 1 (14%) was a social robot used in therapeutic sessions to include elements of musicotherapy, reminiscence, cognitive games, and relaxation; 1 (14%) was a commercially available computer system that provides access to various recreational leisure activities; and 1 (14%) was a web-based self-management support system that helps family caregivers to deal with behavior changes in a relative with dementia. Of the 7 articles, only 1 (14%) reported on the use of a behavior change theory, namely a comprehensive process model of engagement coupled with cognitive stimulation therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Literature on the topic is scarce, recent, and heterogeneous. There is a clear need for a theoretical framework to conceptualize and govern the use of behavior change models that incorporate technology for patients with cognitive impairment.

PMID:36630174 | DOI:10.2196/40330

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