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Acceptability of an intelligent wireless sensor system for the rapid detection of health issues: findings among home-dwelling older adults and their informal caregivers

Authors Cohen C, Kampel T, Verloo H

Received 29 May 2016

Accepted for publication 1 July 2016

Published 6 September 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1687—1695

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S113805

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Christine Cohen, Thomas Kampel, Henk Verloo

Department Ra&D, La Source School of Nursing Sciences, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Lausanne, Switzerland

Background: Aging at home rather than in an institution is now considered the gold standard. Public health figures document an important demographic transition to an increasingly elderly society. At the same time, this is accompanied by the emergence of significant numbers of innovative technologies to help and support home-dwelling older adults in declining health who wish to remain at home.
Study aim: To explore the acceptability of intelligent wireless sensor system (IWSS) among home-dwelling older adults in rapidly detecting their health issues.
Methods: Data were sourced from a pilot 3-month randomized clinical trial that involved 34 older patients in the experimental group (EG) using an IWSS to rapidly detect falls and other health issues at home. The effectiveness of the IWSS was assessed by comparing it to participants’ functional and cognitive status, as measured both before and after the trial. The Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care, Confusion Assessment Method, Cognitive Performance Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale, and Informed Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly were used for the assessments. Acceptability of the IWSS was explored at the end of the study.
Results: Both older adults and their informal caregivers considered the performance and usefulness of the IWSS intervention to be low to moderate. A majority of the participants were unsatisfied with its ease of use and found multiple obstacles in using and having an intention to use the IWSS. However, their informal caregivers were more satisfied with the program and gave higher scores for usefulness, ease of use, and intention to use IWSS technology.
Conclusion: The IWSS displayed low-to-moderate acceptability among the older participants and their informal caregivers. We recommend improving and clarifying several components in the IWSS for the development of a design that is user-centered.

Keywords:
gerontechnology, satisfaction, patient preferences, home monitoring, elderly care, informal caregiver preferences, innovative technology

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