Literature Review HCI and Dementia Method and Themes

To get a better overview of the topics regarding dementia discussed in HCI a preliminary literature review has been undertaken. It has been kept consciously open and cursory at this stage to get a good idea of the issues discussed. A further and more systematic review will be developed when first topics have been identified.

Using the keywords ‘HCI’ and ‘Dementia’, the results in Google Scholar have been manually checked for relevance to the topic. Google Scholar has been chosen at this stage to get an overview of the areas in which Dementia and Technology was discussed. All papers were examined individually and the source has been evaluated.  To get a better overview, all papers with a technological component have been taken into account, even if the focus has not been on Interaction Design specifically. No further distinguishes have been made between different types of dementia to get an overview of how dementia is considered in the field and which specific types are taken into consideration. From these results 109 articles and conference proceedings have been selected for further investigation. Master – and PhD thesis have been excluded at this stage, but will form the basis for a later analysis. It has been taken into account that this literature review will not include all literature on the topic, but it is expected to be wide enough to allow for themes to emerge. It will be added to and worked into as the project develops.

For the next step, the papers have been evaluated using the authors affiliations, sources and the abstract to find a framework for the content. At this stage all papers have been sorted manually with individual consideration to get an insight into possible structures. Five papers still await sorting as access to a full version has not been granted.

Even though initially included, all 6 papers discussing ageing and HCI or HCI in regards to elderly people have been dismissed during the first interpretation as they only mention dementia in passing.

Five papers have been rejected in the early phase of the review as they are concerned with early detection or diagnosis of dementia. As the focus of this research project will be on people who have been diagnosed with dementia already, these types of application do not have much relevance.

Five papers have been dismissed at this stage as they did not fit either into the context of HCI or dementia even though the title suggested it.

Four large categories have been chosen for the remaining papers and form the basis for this evaluation.
The largest area contains technological solutions to support people living with dementia. This includes the sub-themes of cognitive support, support with daily living, meaningful activities or reminiscing and keeping contact with others. As is has been expected, this group forms the largest number of papers.

The second group identified is care. In contrast to the ‘support’ group, solutions here are more institutionalised, making reference to care either in care homes, hospital settings or at home. Support framed as enabling to stay at home has been sorted into this category. Papers discussing solutions aiming to support caregivers also are classified here. It is the second largest group.

The second groups aims at researchers, designers and decision makers and contains presentations of methods, guidelines developed, ethical considerations or reviews.

The fourth group contains papers with a highly technical approach, which either discusses special interfaces, the use of ICT or webbased solutions.

Three papers that did not fit into either of these groups has been placed into a preliminary group called personhood as their main motive is an exploration of personhood. Due to their comparatively small number it will be decided after closer examination of all papers whether this will remain an individual topic or if the papers will be distributed among the other groups.

When reading and comparing the papers it was found that the existing structure could not be kept up. Instead a less context driven, but more methodology driven approach was selected and three new structures have been developed: Human, Computer and Research & Design. In the category ‘Human’, design projects have been collected that have a human-based approach to design or discuss how technology can be incorporated into dementia care. ‘Computer’ contains the more technology-driven papers, which focus on the use of particular technologies in care. The ‘Research & Design’ category has been introduced for approaches that are concerned with the ethical directions of design, give guidelines or literature overviews, or discuss new methods or methodologies in design in the context of dementia.

These segments and the themes emerging from them will be discussed in coming posts.

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