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      Digital life storybooks for people with dementia living in care homes: an evaluation

      1 , 2

      Clinical Interventions in Aging

      Dove Medical Press

      care homes, dementia, ICT, life storybook, reminiscence

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          Background and aim

          There is increasing interest in using information and communication technology to help older adults with dementia to engage in reminiscence work. Now, the feasibility of such approaches is beginning to be established. The purpose of this study was to establish an evidence-base for the acceptability and efficacy of using multimedia digital life storybooks with people with dementia in care homes, in comparison with conventional life storybooks, taking into account the perspectives of people with dementia, their relatives, and care staff.


          Participatory design was used to create a life story movie based on a previously completed conventional life storybook with six older adults with dementia (four females; mean age 82 years). Relatives were involved in helping the participant to provide additional information and materials for the digital life storybook. In this multiple case study design, both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used. For quantitative purposes, a set of questionnaires that had been completed three times before and after the conventional life storybook was developed were repeated 4 weeks after the life story movie was completed. Semistructured interview questions were designed to collect feedback from participants, relatives, and care staff.


          The result indicated that five of the six participants showed additional improvement in measures of quality of life and autobiographical memory. All participants showed improvement or stability in depression scores. Thematic analysis showed that, participants, relatives, and care home staff viewed digital life storybooks as a very useful tool triggering memories and (largely) positive emotions. Participants’ case vignettes were presented to document the impact of digital life storybook.

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          Most cited references 35

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          A new clinical scale for the staging of dementia.

          Accurate clinical staging of dementia in older subjects has not previously been achieved despite the use of such methods as psychometric testing, behavioural rating, and various combinations of simpler psychometric and behavioural evaluations. The Clinical Dementia Rating (CRD), a global rating device, was developed for a prospective study of mild senile dementia--Alzheimer type (SDAT). Reliability, validity, and correlational data are discussed. The CRD was found to distinguish unambiguously among older subjects with a wide range of cognitive function, from healthy to severely impaired.
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              Assessing quality of life in older adults with cognitive impairment.

              This article discusses theoretical, psychometric, and practical considerations of quality of life assessment in older adults with cognitive impairment. It describes a new measure of quality of life in dementia, the QOL-AD, and examines the reliability and validity of patient and caregiver reports of patient quality of life. Subjects were 177 patient/caregiver dyads. Patient Mini Mental State Exam scores ranged from 0 to 29, with a mean score of 16 (SD = 7). Each patient and caregiver rated the patient's quality of life on the QOL-AD. Patient functional and cognitive status, psychological state, physical function, and behavior problems were also assessed. Reliability and validity of patient QOL-AD reports were examined across three levels of cognitive impairment. One hundred, fifty-five patients were able to complete the QOL-AD. Completers scored between 4 and 29 on the Mini Mental State Exam, whereas noncompleters all scored 10 or lower. Reliability for both patient and caregiver reports on the QOL-AD was good (alpha values ranged from 0.83 to 0.90). Validity of patient and caregiver reports across cognitive levels was supported by correlation with measures of depression (r = -0.41 to -0.65), day-to-day functioning (r = -0.10 to -0.45), and pleasant events frequency (r = 0.18 to 0.51). Intraclass correlation between patient and caregiver reports was positive across all cognitive levels (r = 0.14 to 0.39). The QOL-AD seems to be reliable and valid for individuals with MMSE scores greater than 10. Further research is needed to clarify the relationship between patient and caregiver reports of patient quality of life and to identify factors that influence quality of life throughout the progression of dementia.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Health Psychology Programme, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
                [2 ]Dementia Services Development Centre Wales, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Bob Woods, Dementia Services Development Centre Wales, Bangor University, Ardudwy, Holyhead Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2PZ, UK, Tel +44 1248 383 719, Email b.woods@
                Clin Interv Aging
                Clin Interv Aging
                Clinical Interventions in Aging
                Clinical Interventions in Aging
                Dove Medical Press
                16 September 2016
                : 11
                : 1263-1276
                © 2016 Subramaniam and Woods. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Health & Social care

                reminiscence, life storybook, ict, dementia, care homes


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