Understanding acceptance of contactless monitoring technology in home-based dementia care: a cross-sectional survey study among informal caregivers

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Abstract

Background: There is a growing interest to support home-based dementia care via contactless monitoring (CM) technologies which do not require any body contact, and allow informal caregivers to remotely monitor the health and safety of people with dementia (PwD). However, sustainable implementation of CM technologies requires a better understanding of informal caregivers' acceptance. This study aimed to examine the (1) general acceptance of CM technology for home-based dementia care, (2) acceptance of different sensor types and use scenarios, and (3) differences between accepters and refusers of CM technology. Method: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among n = 304 informal caregivers of community-dwelling PwD [Mean(SD) age = 58.5 (10.7)] in the Netherlands and Germany. The survey contained a textual and graphical introduction to CM technologies, as well as questions targeting (1) general acceptance of CM technology, (2) acceptance of seven different contactless sensor types, (3) acceptance of five different use scenarios, and (4) caregivers' own and their care recipients' personal characteristics. Data were examined using descriptive and bivariate analyses. Results: Participants' general acceptance of CM technology was slightly positive. We found significant differences in acceptability between contactless sensor types (p <.001). RF-based sensors (e.g., radar) and light sensors were considered most acceptable, whereas camera-based sensors and audio sensors (e.g., microphones, smart speakers) were seen as least acceptable for home-based dementia care. Furthermore, participants' acceptance of different use scenarios for CM technology varied significantly (p <.001). The intention to use CM technology was highest for detecting emergencies (e.g., falls, wandering), and lowest for predicting acute situations (e.g., fall prediction). Lastly, accepters and refusers of CM technology significantly differed regarding gender (p =.010), their relation with the PwD (p =.003), eHealth literacy (p =.025), personal innovativeness (p <.001), usage of safety technology (p =.002), and the PwD's type of cognitive impairment (p =.035) and housing situation (p =.023). Conclusion: Our findings can inform the development and implementation of acceptable CM technology to support home-based dementia care. Specifically, we show which sensor types and use scenarios should be prioritized from the informal caregiver's view. Additionally, our study highlights several personal characteristics associated with informal caregivers' acceptance of CM technology that should be taken into account during implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1257009
JournalFrontiers in Digital Health
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Remote monitoring
  • Assistive technology
  • Dementia
  • Informal caregivers
  • Technology acceptance
  • Implementation

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