Using a therapeutic companion robot for dementia symptoms in long-term care: reflections from a cluster-RCT
Embargoed until: 2018-12-28
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Objectives: We undertook a cluster-randomised controlled trial exploring the effect of a therapeutic companion robot (PARO) compared to a look-alike plush toy and usual care on dementia symptoms of long-term care residents. Complementing the reported quantitative outcomes , this paper provides critical reflection and commentary on individual participant responses to PARO, observed through video recordings , with a view to informing clinical practice and research. Method: A descriptive, qualitative design with five participants selected from the PARO intervention arm of the trial. The trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12614000508673). Results: The five participants and their responses to PARO are presented in terms of three issues: i.) Different pre-intervention clinical presentations and different responses; ii.) Same individual, different response – the need for continual assessment and review; and iii.) The ethics of giving and retrieving PARO. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed in relation to each issue. Conclusion: The findings suggest that one approach does not fit all, and that there is considerable variation in responses to PARO. A number of recommendations are discussed to aid the delivery of psychosocial interventions with PARO in practice, as well as to guide future research.
Aging and Mental Health
© 2017 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Aging & Mental Health on 28 Dec 2017, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2017.1421617
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Geriatrics and Gerontology