BACKGROUND: The prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild neurocognitive disorder (mNCD) are steadily increasing in Canada. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) in health represent an innovation to promote home care and autonomy for people with various degrees of cognitive impairment. The objective of this study is to develop a web-based multicriteria decision support tool adapted to older adults with MCI or mNCD, their informal caregivers, and health care providers (HCPs) to support the development and implementation of ICTs adapted to the needs and preferences of people with cognitive impairments and their caregivers.
METHODS: We used a participatory research strategy to develop of a decision support tool for the use of ICTs focused on the needs of patients, their caregivers, and HCPs. Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews with elderly people with MCI (N = 10) and caregivers of people with mNCD (N= 7) to explore their current knowledge and perceptions of various ICTs as well as their needs and preferences for such interventions and a focus group with HCPs to understand their perceptions of the needs of seniors with MCI and caregivers of people with mNCD.
RESULTS: ICTs are seen as a beneficial solution to promote home care and autonomy for people with cognitive disorders. ICTs provide a sense of security and peace of mind, especially for caregivers of people with mNCD. However, the complexity and high cost of ICTs as well as the lack of support appear to be major limits to their use. HCP recognize the value of e-Health but claim to lack reliable information and were therefore highly unsure to recommend its use.
CONCLUSIONS: People suffering from cognitive disorders and their caregivers are generally open to technological developments and favour the use of ICTs. For health professionals, continuous training on ICTs would make them more comfortable to recommend them to patients and their families. Although the use of ICTs is promising for maintaining elderly people with cognitive disorders at home, our study shows that it will be necessary to find ways to make them accessible to promote their use.
Bibliographical note© 2021 the Alzheimer's Association.
- e-Health solutions
- elderly people
- cognitive impairment
- health care provider
- home care