Process evaluation of the FindMyApps program trial among people with dementia or MCI and their caregivers based on the MRC guidance.

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Abstract

Background: People with dementia can improve their wellbeing by using touchscreen technology. FindMyApps is a program comprising of a web-based selection-tool and an errorless learning training to help people with dementia and their caregivers find suitable apps which can improve their self-management and engagement in meaningful activities. This process evaluation was conducted as part of an exploratory pilot trial into FindMyApps and involved a sample of the participants in this trial. Objective: To evaluate which factors might influence the trial outcomes, according to the Medical Research Council (MRC) guidance. Contextual, implementation, and mechanisms of impact factors that may have influenced trial outcomes were evaluated. Method: Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from semi-structured interviews (SSIs) with participants from both trial arms and other stakeholders. The SSI designed for this study comprised closed and open questions, based on the MRC process evaluation guidance. Twenty people with mild dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and their caregivers were recruited in the Netherlands. Exclusion criteria were severe sight problems or moderate to severe dementia. All participants received a tablet computer for three months. Dyads in the experimental group were taught to use the tablet and FindMyApps tool by the ‘errorless learning’ method, to help them find apps for self-management and meaningful activities. Dyads in the control group received general instruction in tablet use and a list of websites with potentially useful apps. Results: Important themes identified included participants experiencing technical problems and variable quality of training in the use of the FindMyApps selection-tool. Dyads did not use FindMyApps-tool regularly, but frequently used the apps they found through FindMyApps and experienced them as useful and enjoyable. Conclusion: The tablet-based FindMyApps intervention is experienced as user-friendly and useful by people with dementia/MCI and their informal caregivers. Several adaptations to the trial protocol are recommended, to ensure robust outcomes of a definitive effectiveness trial of FindMyApps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalGerontechnology
Volume20
Issue number0
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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