Improving social participation in dementia with the Geographic Information system-based intervention ‘Viamigo’
Early Stage Researcher (ESR11)
Prof. Frans Verhey
Prof. Marjolein de Vugt
Pascale Heins graduated in Occupational Therapy (2016) at the Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Heerlen, the Netherlands. Afterwards, she attained a master’s degree in Health Assisting Engineering (2019) at the FH Campus Wien in Vienna, Austria. During this academic experience, she learned to develop healthcare innovations in interdisciplinary collaboration with other healthcare professionals and technicians. Additionally, she gained clinical experience as an occupational therapist in enhancing autonomy and well-being of elderly people with dementia and research experience as an intern at the Research Centre for Assistive Technology in Care (Heerlen, the Netherlands).
She is aiming to increase the autonomy and quality of life of people with dementia through the development of new, and the enhancement of existing, healthcare technologies. Her research interests include dementia, quality of life, assistive technology and social robots.
|Start date||November 2019|
- to provide insight into the barriers and facilitators of social participation in dementia;
- to improve social participation of people with dementia with the Geographic Information System (GIS)-based intervention ‘Viamigo’.
People with dementia commonly experience challenges with spatial orientation, leading to a decrease in meaningful outdoor activities and social interactions, and a decline in independence. ‘Viamigo’ teaches people with dementia a known individual route, to accomplish independently while being monitored in real-time from a distance by a personal coach (eg family carer). A systematic literature review gained insight into the effects of technological interventions that address social participation of older adults (with dementia), and a qualitative interview study will gain insight into the experiences of people with dementia and their informal caregivers related to social participation in dementia and potential barriers and facilitators to social participation. Objective 2 will be addressed by a pilot study on the feasibility and preliminary effects of ‘Viamigo’ to support the independent outdoor mobility of people with dementia and reduce caregiver burden.
A systematic literature review is expected to give insight into the effects of technological interventions that aim at enhancing social participation in community-dwelling older adults with and without dementia, and to identify factors of these technological interventions that are barriers or facilitators to social participation of community-dwelling older adults with and without dementia.
The interviews will reveal important information on experiences of people with dementia and their informal caregivers with regard to participation in social activities in general and specifically when travelling outdoors; in order to identify barriers and facilitators of social participation.
An evaluation of ‘Viamigo’ for usability, acceptability, and effectiveness for people with dementia and their caregivers is expected to lead to increased out-home mobility, participation in social activities, confidence of the person with dementia to travel independently, and a higher quality of life the person with dementia and caregiver.
Results will be used to adapt the application if necessary for future implementation.
Two for 3 months each. The first in year one with KI-SE to learn about how people with dementia participate in activities and related places in the community and the second at Silverfit, a technology partner that has broad experience with innovative technologies in everyday life.
Pascale Heins, Lizzy M.M. Boots, An Neven, Frans R.J. Verhey, Marjolein E. de Vugt. The effects of technology-based interventions on social participation of community-dwelling older adults with and without dementia: a systematic review. PROSPERO 2020 CRD42020206654 Available from: here.
- Koh, W. Q., Whelan, S., Heins, P., Casey, D., Toomey, E., & Dröes, R. M. (2022). The Usability and Impact of a Low-Cost Pet Robot for Older Adults and People With Dementia: Qualitative Content Analysis of User Experiences and Perceptions on Consumer Websites. JMIR Aging, 5(1), e29224. https://doi.org/10.2196/29224
- Heins, P.; Boots, L.M.M.; Koh, W.Q.; Neven, A.; Verhey, F.R.J.; de Vugt, M.E. (2021). Technological Interventions and Social Participation in Community-Dwelling Older Adults With or Without Dementia. Innovation in Aging, 5, Issue Supplement_1, 590. https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igab046.2250
- Koh, W. Q., Heins, P., Whelan, S., Toomey, E., Casey, D., & Dröes, R. M. (2021). Experiences and perceptions of using a low-cost pet robot for older adults and people with dementia. Innovation in Aging, 5, Issue Supplement_1, 945. https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igab046.3385
- Heins, P., Boots, L.M.M., Koh, W.Q., Neven, A., Verhey, F.R.J., & de Vugt, M.E. (2021). The Effects of Technological Interventions on Social Participation of Community-Dwelling Older Adults with and without Dementia: A Systematic Review. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10, 2308. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10112308
- Heins, P., Malinowsky, C., Nygård, L., & Brorsson, A. (2021, November 17). What factors can influence the out-of-home participation of older adults with dementia? [Panel session]. Occupational Science Europe Conference 2021. Virtual
- Heins, P., Boots, L.M.M., Koh, W.Q., Neven, A., Verhey, F.R.J., & de Vugt, M.E. (2021, November 10-13). Technological interventions and social participation in community-dwelling older adults with or without dementia. In K. Wolf-Ostermann (Chair). Strategies to design technology promoting social participation of people with dementia and their caregivers. [Symposium]. GSA 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting. Virtual
- Koh, W. Q.*, Whelan, S. A., Heins, P., Casey, D., Toomey, E., & Dröes, R. M. (2021, November 10-13). Experiences and perceptions of using a low-cost pet robot for older adults and people with dementia [Symposium]. The Gerontological Society of America’s 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting. Virtual (*presenting author)
Heins, P. ‘What attracts Early Stage Researchers to the dementia field?’. Dementia in Europe magazine, 2021, issue 35. Available online from https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/reports-publication/dementia-europe-magazine-issue-35
Participatiekompas (2022). Mensen met dementie betrekken bij onderzoek en ontwikkeling [English translation: Involving people with dementia in research and development]. Available online from: https://participatiekompas.nl/mensen-met-dementie-betrekken-bij-onderzoek-en-ontwikkeling