Evaluation of the effectiveness of a person-centred touch-screen based photo-activity for people with advanced dementia

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Netherlands Netherlands VU University Medical Centre

Early Stage Researcher (ESR14)

Photo of Josephine Tan

Josephine Tan

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Prof. Dr. Rose-Marie Dröes

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Prof. Dr. M.L. Stek, MD

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Hello, Mabuhay, and Kia Ora! My name is Josephine and I am a Filipino-Kiwi, who recently relocated to the Netherlands. I was very excited to be given the opportunity to be part of the DISTINCT program and to be working together with the Department of Psychiatry within the Amsterdam Universitair Medische Centra.

My background is in Health Psychology. I obtained my Master’s degree in Health Psychology with First Class Honors from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. My master’s thesis explored the feasibility and acceptability of healthcare robots in a rural setting- both in the homes of older adults, and in a GP clinic. I then attained further training and registered as a Psychologist with the New Zealand Psychologists Board. I have experience working with patients in primary healthcare and with students in a university clinic.

In my spare time, I enjoy blogging, travelling with my husband, and indoor bouldering.

Start date February 2020
Duration 36 months


  1. Develop a user-friendly digital touch-screen version of the existing successfully piloted Photo-activity intervention,
  2. Explore the effectiveness of the Photo-activity in a randomized clinical trial (feasibility and effect study) in nursing home residents with advanced dementia and
  3. To investigate implementation issues and develop an implementation package for the person-centred photo activity.

Expected Results

Care for people with moderate to severe dementia who stay in nursing homes is not yet sufficiently person-oriented and often does not adequately match their needs. Earlier research showed that viewing art on a touch screen tablet could positively influence the well-being of people with dementia and their caregivers. A study from VUMC showed that a photo activity tailored to the personal interests of people with moderate/severe dementia seemed to have a positive impact on their mood and social interaction during the activity. The project evaluates person-centred care offered to people with moderate to severe dementia by using a photo activity through touch-screen technology. It is expected that the mood of people with dementia and the social interaction with their environment in daily life will improve when they are regularly offered person-centred contact through the photo activity. The intervention will offer paid carers in long term care facilities an easy to use social participation approach for people with more advanced dementia. The project will also deliver an implementation package.

Planned secondment(s)

Two for 3 months each. The first at UoN/MindTech to learn from and utilize the expertise on using touch-screen technology in care homes. The second one with EU Medianet to develop an implementation package.



Tan, J.R., Boersma, P., Aëgerter, L., Ettema, T., Stek, M., Gobbens, R., & Dröes, R.M. (2020, October 20-22). Digital Art Promoting Social Interaction between Dementia Residents, Families and Carers [Poster presentation]. 30th Alzheimer Europe Conference, Bucharest, Romania.