The use of ‘off-the-shelf’ GPS technology to support people living with dementia and their care partners

Ford, M 2022, The use of ‘off-the-shelf’ GPS technology to support people living with dementia and their care partners , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This doctoral thesis explores the perceptions and experiences of people living with dementia and their care partners on off-the-shelf Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. ‘Off-the-shelf’ GPS devices are readily available, without a specific use attached and are often more economical than products labelled for use within dementia care. This study was designed to guarantee that people living with dementia were an essential part of the study. This was not research ‘about them’, or through the use of a proxy to explore what people with dementia might do instead, this research sought to ensure that their voice was heard, understood, and had an impact. This was done through a two-phased approach. The first phase acted as a consultation session, employing a focus group to explore the views, opinions, and experiences of participants living with dementia and care partners on a range of off-the-shelf GPS devices. Findings indicated that the wearability, usability, and cost of products were integral to their success and adoption. Phase two utilised these findings with eighteen new participants using the off-the-shelf device chosen by participants of phase one, alongside training and technical support, for a period of three months. In-depth interviews with participants took place before and after this period of use. Findings resonate with existing research, but also build upon the evidence base, to show the benefits and challenges of using this technology. This study demonstrates the benefits of GPS in relation to a person’s psycho-social needs, with barriers found relating to a person’s relationship with technology. The approach taken provided new insights into conducting research with people living with dementia as well as during times of crisis. Conclusions reached argue that off-the-shelf GPS devices are a viable, inclusive alternative to ‘dementia branded’ products, that could reduce healthcare inequalities and increase access to potentially vital technology.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Clark, AJ (Supervisor), Innes, A (Supervisor) and Light, BA (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Matthew Ford
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2023 09:27
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023 02:30

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