The experiences and perspectives of people with young-onset dementia using smart device technology to enable everyday occupation

  • Nicola McGarvey

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    Aim: This study aimed to explore the experiences and perspectives of younger people with dementia and their use of smart devices to support everyday meaningful activity or occupations. The objectives of the study were to bridge the gap in person-centred research with younger people with dementia, to better understand their needs and to discover if there was potential for smart device technology to offer solutions to their occupational challenges.

    Methods: The study used methods of qualitative research, based on Qualitative Description methodology. In-depth interviews and a focus group were conducted with six people who owned smart devices, under 65 years of age, living with dementia. Data was thematically analysed and transcribed by the researcher to gain insight into the participants’ meaning of experiences and their perspectives of living with dementia and using smart devices to support and maintain everyday occupation.

    Findings: Three themes were identified after analysis: Dementia: Stigma and Loss; the Meaningful Occupation of Employment, and; Smart Device Technology: now and in the future. Findings showed that smart devices were predominantly used tacitly, and were not generically valued as a way of supporting meaningful occupation. When linked to maintaining employment as meaningful occupation, participants shared perspectives and ideas for how smart devices may be potentially valuable.

    Conclusion: Smart devices have potential in supporting the meaningful occupation of younger people living with dementia, especially in employment. Further research from the perspective of younger people with dementia is required, to better understand and to co-develop viable solutions within mainstream services and within the technology sector.
    Date of AwardMar 2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorSimon Igo (Supervisor)

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