ESR12

Social robotics in dementia care to promote social health: ethical issues and implementation strategies

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Ireland Ireland National University of Ireland Galway

Early Stage Researcher (ESR12)

ESR12: photo of Wei Qi Koh

Wei Qi Koh

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Supervisor(s)

 

Prof. Dympna Casey

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Dr. Elaine Toomey

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Wei Qi Koh has had over 5 years of clinical experience as an occupational therapist working with older adults, including persons with dementia in Singapore. She has a strong interest in research to advocate for patient-centred practice and meaningful engagement among older adults. Wei Qi Koh has received a research grant from the Singapore Association of Occupational Therapists in 2018 to work on her research project.

As part of DISTINCT, she will be carrying out a research to investigate the use of technology (social robots) to promote social health among older adults with dementia and undertake her PhD in the National University of Ireland Galway.

Start date October 2019
Duration 36 months

Objectives

To evaluate the current evidence base regarding factors affecting the real-world implementation of social robotics for people with dementia. To understand users’ (people with dementia and their caregivers) experience of using robotic pets. To understand the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of robotic pets for people with dementia in the nursing home setting from the perspectives of multi-level stakeholders, such people with dementia, healthcare providers and organisational decision makers. To develop implementation strategies to address perceived barriers and facilitators, and to establish expert consensus on implementation strategies for implementing robotic pets for people. Evidence synthesis and mixed methodology involving qualitative interviews and a Delphi survey will be utilised.

Expected Results

Best practice guidelines for the successful implementation of social robots (robotic pets) for people with dementia in nursing home, and an up to date report on the existing evidence on the determinants influencing the implementation of social robotic technology use in dementia care. A detailed account describing the perceived barriers and facilitators to the implementation of social robots in nursing homes for people with dementia, and expert consensus on the implementation strategies necessary to address the identified barriers and facilitators. The best practice guidelines will be based on input from multi-level stakeholders, including people with dementia, healthcare providers, organisational decision makers and other experts. This will generate new knowledge regarding real world experiences in the implementation of social robots, particularly pet robots, for persons with dementia to inform the implementation process. A report on the ethical concerns in practice and framework to mitigate ethical concerns regarding social robotics in dementia care will also be generated.

Planned secondment(s)

Two for 3 months each. The first in year 2 with VUMC to explore ethical issues surrounding the use of assistive technology and social robotics and technology in dementia care. The second in year 3 to interact with experts in robotics to learn about the local process of developing, testing and implementing social robots, and to understand the dimensions of end-of-life experiences of dementia, and explore how social robots may be used for this population.

Dissemination

Publications:

  1. Koh WQ., Heins P., Flynn A., Mahmoudi Asl A., Garcia L., Malinowsky C., & Brorsson A. (2022). Bridging gaps in the design and implementation of socially assistive technologies for dementia care: the role of occupational therapy. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/17483107.2022.2111610
  2. Koh, W.Q., Toomey, E., Flynn, A. & Casey, D. (2022). Determinants of implementing pet robots in nursing homes for dementia care. BMC Geriatrics, 22(1), 457, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-022-03150-z.
  3. Koh, W. Q., Casey, D., Hoel, V., & Toomey, E. (2022). Strategies for implementing pet robots in care homes and nursing homes for residents with dementia: protocol for a modified Delphi study. Implementation Science Communications, 3(1), 58, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s43058-022-00308-z.
  4. 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. doi: 10.2196/29224
  5. 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(Suppl 1), 590-590, Page 945, https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igab046.3385.
  6. Koh, W. Q., Toomey, E., & Casey, D. (2021). Exploring Barriers and Facilitators to the Implementation of Pet Robots for People With Dementia in Nursing Homes: A Qualitative Research Protocol. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 20, 16094069211047059.
  7. Koh, W. Q., Felding, S. A., Budak, K. B., Toomey, E., & Casey, D. (2021). Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of social robots for older adults and people with dementia: a scoping review. BMC Geriatrics, 21(1), 1-17. doi: 10.1186/s12877-021-02277-9.
  8. Heins, P., Boots, L. M., Koh, W. Q., Neven, A., Verhey, F. R., & 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(11), 2308. doi: 10.3390/jcm10112308.
  9. Koh, W. Q., Ang, F. X. H, & Casey, D. (2021). Impacts of Low-cost robotic pets for older adults and people with dementia: scoping review. JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology, 8(1): e25340. 10.2196/25340
  10. Koh, W. Q., Felding, S. A., Budak, K. B., Toomey, E., & Casey, D. (2021). What are the barriers and facilitators affecting the implementation of social robots for older adults and people with dementia? A scoping review. BMC Implementation Science, 16(Suppl 2).
  11. Koh, W. Q., Felding, S. A., Toomey, E., & Casey, D. (2021). Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of social robots for older adults and people with dementia: a scoping review protocol. Systematic reviews, 10(1), 1-6. doi: 10.1186/s13643-021-01598-5
  12. Boots, L., Koh, W. Q., Neven, A., Verhey, F., de Vugt, M., & Heins, P. (2021). Technological Interventions and Social Participation in Community-Dwelling Older Adults With or Without Dementia. Innovation in Aging, 5(Suppl 1), 590-590. https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igab046.2250.

Presentations:

  1. Koh, W. Q., Casey, D., & Toomey, E. (2022, July 31-August 4). How Can Pet Robots Be Embedded Into Nursing Homes as Part of Routine Dementia Care? [Oral presentation]. Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2022, San Diego, United States.
  2. Koh, W. Q., Toomey, E., Flynn, A., & Casey, D. (2022, July 31-August 4). Determinants of implementation: Embedding pet robots in nursing homes for dementia care [Poster presentation]. Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2022, San Diego, United States.
  3. Koh, W. Q., Toomey, E., Flynn, A., & Casey, D. (2022, August 9-11). A qualitative study to explore barriers and facilitators to the implementation of pet robots in nursing homes for residents with dementia [Poster presentation]. Alzheimer Disease International Conference 2022, London, United Kingdom.
  4. Flynn, A., Koh, W. Q., & Casey, D. (2022, August 9-11). The show must go on: Early Career Researchers’ reflections on recruitment & data collection during COVID-19 [Poster presentation]. Alzheimer Disease International Conference 2022, London, United Kingdom.
  5. Heins, P., Boots, L., Koh, W. Q., Neven, A., Verhey, F., & de Vugt, M. (2022). Technology can reduce isolation and loneliness, and enhance social support for older adults [Poster presentation]. Alzheimer Disease International Conference 2022, London, United Kingdom.
  6. Heins, P. & Koh, W. Q.  (2022, August 8-10). Experiences of being in a multidisciplinary Innovative Training Network: Technology and Dementia [poster presentation]. Inaugural World Occupational Science Conference 2022, Vancouver, Canada.
  7. 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 [poster presentation]. The Gerontological Society of America’s 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting , Arizona, United States.
  8. Koh, W. Q., Ang, X. H. F., & Casey, D. (2021, 29 November-1 December) Recommendations for Implementing Pet Robots for People with Dementia in Nursing Homes: A Mixed Methods Study Protocol [Poster presentation]. 31st Alzheimer’s Europe Conference. Virtual, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  9. Felding, S.A.*, Koh, W.Q., Teupen, S., Budak, K.B., Laporte-Uribe, F. & Roes, M. (2021, 29 November-1 December). “At first, “At first, I thought it makes no sense. But then I began to like him” – Results from a scoping review on acceptance of social robots in nursing homes [Quick oral presentation]. 31st Alzheimer Europe Conference. Virtual, Utrecht, The Netherlands (*presenting author)
  10. 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.
  11. Koh, W. Q., Felding, S. A., Budak, K. B., Toomey, E., & Casey, D. (2021, July 15-16). What are the barriers and facilitators affecting the implementation of social robots for older adults and people with dementia: A scoping review [Rapid oral-poster presentation]. 4th UK Implementation Science Conference. (Best rapid oral-poster presentation)
  12. Koh, W.Q., Ang, F., & Casey D. (2020, October 20-22). Impacts of Robotic Cat for Older Adults and People with Dementia: A Scoping Review [Poster presentation]. 30th Alzheimer Europe Conference. Virtual, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  13. Koh, W.Q., Felding, S.A., Budak, B., & Casey, D. (2020, October 20-22). Barriers and Facilitators to the Implementation of Social Robots for Older Adults & People with Dementia: A Scoping Review [Poster presentation]. 30th Alzheimer Europe Conference. Virtual, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Media:

  1. Irish Farmers Journal. (2021). Social robots could address future skills shortage in care sector. 15 February 2021, Available online from: https://www.farmersjournal.ie/can-robotics-help-people-with-dementia-599689
  2. The Irish Times. (2021). Social robots could address future skills shortage in care sector. 21 January 2021, Available online from https://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/social-robots-could-address-future-skills-shortage-in-care-sector-1.4464148
  3. Koh, W. Q . ‘DISTINCT project researchers find that low-cost robots may have potential to improve the psychosocial health of people with dementia.’ Alzheimer Europe Newsletter, 2021, issue 3. Available online from https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/reports-publication/alzheimer-europe-newsletter-march-2021