JRM Vol.25 No.6 pp. 906-914
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2013.p0906


A Survey Method for Identifying Real Support Needs of People with Early-Stage Dementia for Designing Assistive Technology

Hirotoshi Yamamoto*, Yasuyoshi Yokokohji**, and Hajime Takechi***

*Department of Mechanical Engineering and Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, C3 Bldg., Kyotodaigakukatsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8540, Japan

**Department of Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan

***Department of Geriatric Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 54 Shogoin, Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan

April 23, 2013
October 24, 2013
December 20, 2013
early-stage dementia, interviews, social living, support needs, Person-Centred Care

In this paper, we propose a new interview method of eliciting needs for support completely and accurately from people with early-stage dementia for identifying their real needs, with the eventual objective of designing effective Assistive Technology. The interview procedure consists of the following steps: (1) entirely identifying tasks of a subject’s everyday living, leisure and social activities (referred to, in all, as “social living activities”), (2) evaluating the subject’s confusion levels (SCLs) about identified tasks based on the subject’s self-rating, together with the caregiver’s rating as a reference, and confusion level discrepancies (CLDs) are found, and (3) predicting the subject’s support requirement levels (SRLs) about confusing tasks based on confusion levels followed by the subject’s revision to thereby find SRL discrepancies (SRLDs). Subjects are asked to reconfirm SRL ratings associated with tasks having SRLDs and/or encouraged to raise the ratings of tasks having CLDs to accurately identify the subject’s SRLs. Six subject-caregiver dyads were interviewed and 22 support needs, including 10 needs that were extracted by reconfirmation or encouragement, were elicited from four subjects. These elicited needs covered the entire social living scene from domestic affairs to social activities, showing that the proposed method was effective in systematically eliciting support needs from people with early-stage dementia. No support needs were elicited, however, from subjects with very little awareness of memory impairment, demonstrating one limitation of the proposed method.

Cite this article as:
Hirotoshi Yamamoto, Yasuyoshi Yokokohji, and Hajime Takechi, “A Survey Method for Identifying Real Support Needs of People with Early-Stage Dementia for Designing Assistive Technology,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.25, No.6, pp. 906-914, 2013.
Data files:
  1. [1] T. Kitwood, “Dementia Reconsidered: The Person Comes First,” London: Open University Press, 1998.
  2. [2] S. Benson and T. Kitwood, “PERSON-CENTRED CARE,” London: Hawker Publications, 2000.
  3. [3] M. L. Lee and A. K. Dey, “Lifelogging Memory Appliance for People with Episodic Memory Impairment,” Proc. of UbiComp’08, pp. 44-53, 2008.
  4. [4] T. Hamada, H. Okubo et al., “Robot therapy as for recreation for elderly people with dementia,” Proc. of 17th IEEE Int. Symposium in Robot and Human Interactive Communication, pp. 174-179, 2008.
  5. [5] R. Orpwood, A. Sixsmith et al., “Designing technology to support quality of life of people with dementia,” Technology and Disability, Vol.19, pp. 103-112, 2007.
  6. [6] R. J. Davie, C. D. Nugen et al., “A user driven approach to develop a cognitive prosthetic to address the unmet needs of people with mild dementia,” Pervasive and Mobile Computing, Vol.5, No.3, pp. 253-267, 2009.
  7. [7] N. J. Haak, “Do you hear what I mean? A lived experience of disrupted communication in mid-to-late stage Alzheimer’s disease,” Alzheimer’s Care Q, Vol.4, pp. 26-40, 2003.
  8. [8] L. Nygard, “How can we get access to the experiences of people with dementia? Suggestions and reflections,” Scand J. of Occupational Therapy, Vol.13, No.2, pp. 101-112, 2006.
  9. [9] T. Katsuno, “Dementia from the inside: how people with early-stage dementia evaluate their quality of life,” Ageing and Society, Vol.25, pp. 197-214, 2005.
  10. [10] E. Steeman, B. D. de Casterle et al.,“Living with early-stage dementia: a review of qualitative studies,” J. of Adv. Nurs., Vol.54, No.6, pp. 722-738, 2006.
  11. [11] H. G. van der Roest, F. J. M. Meiland et al., “Subjective needs of people with dementia: a review of the literature,” Int. Psychogeriatrics, Vol.19, No.3, pp. 559-592, 2007.
  12. [12] H. G. van der Roest, F. J. M. Meiland et al.,“What do communitydwelling people with dementia need? A survey of those who are known to care and welfare services,” Int. Psychogeriatrics, Vol.21, No.5, pp. 949-965, 2009.
  13. [13] M. P. Lawton, “Assessing the competence of older people,” New York: Human Science Press, pp. 122-143, 1972.
  14. [14] R. J. Mikulak, R. McDermott, and M. Beauregard, “The Basics of FMEA, 2nd Edition,” New York: Productivity Press, 2008.
  15. [15] A. Vogel, J. Stokholm et al., “Awareness of deficits in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease: do MCI patients have impaired insight?” Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, Vol.17, pp. 181-187, 2004.

  16. Supporting Online Materials:
  17. [a] Alzheimer’s Association, “Voices of Alzheimer’s Disease.” [Accessed November 26, 2013]

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Mar. 01, 2021