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Home-Based Cognitively Assistive Robots: Maximizing Cognitive Functioning and Maintaining Independence in Older Adults Without Dementia

Authors Van Patten R, Keller AV, Maye JE, Jeste DV, Depp C, Riek LD, Twamley EW

Received 12 March 2020

Accepted for publication 18 May 2020

Published 13 July 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1129—1139

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S253236

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Ryan Van Patten,1– 3 Amber V Keller,2 Jacqueline E Maye,4 Dilip V Jeste,1,3,5 Colin Depp,1,3 Laurel D Riek,6– 8 Elizabeth W Twamley1,2,4

1Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA; 2Research Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA 92161, USA; 3Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92063, USA; 4Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA 92161, USA; 5Department of Neurosciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92063, USA; 6Computer Science and Engineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92063, USA; 7Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92063, USA; 8Contextual Robotics Institute, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92063, USA

Correspondence: Ryan Van Patten
Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive (9116A), La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
Tel +1540-649-4702
Fax +1 619-471-9017
Email rvanpatten@health.ucsd.edu

Abstract: Promoting health and prolonging independence in the home is a priority for older adults, caregivers, clinicians, and society at large. Rapidly developing robotics technology provides a platform for interventions, with the fields of physically and socially assistive robots expanding in recent years. However, less attention has been paid to using robots to enhance the cognitive health of older adults. The goal of this review is to synthesize the current literature on home-based cognitively assistive robots (CAR) in older adults without dementia and to provide suggestions to improve the quality of the scientific evidence in this subfield. First, we set the stage for CAR by: a) introducing the field of robotics to improve health, b) summarizing evidence emphasizing the importance of home-based interventions for older adults, c) reviewing literature on robot acceptability in older adults, d) highlighting important ethical issues in healthcare robotics, and e) reviewing current findings on socially assistive robots, with a focus on translating findings to the CAR context. With this foundation in place, we then review the literature on CAR, identifying gaps and limitations of current evidence, and proposing future directions for research. We conclude that CAR is promising and feasible and that there is a need for more methodologically rigorous evaluations of CAR to promote prolonged home-based independence in older adults.

Keywords: aging, cognitive status, healthy aging, autonomy, successful aging, technology

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