Learning and using technology in intertwined processes: A study of people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease


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Abstract

People with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease are likely to be challenged by the multitude of everyday technology in today's society. The aim of this study was to explore how they try to prohibit, avoid or solve problems in everyday technology use, maintain skills, and learn to use new technology. To explore how the participants applied and reasoned about using everyday technology in real-life situations interviews were conducted while the participants used their own technology in their homes. Interviews were conducted with 20 participants with mild cognitive impairment (n=10) or Alzheimer's disease (n=10). The analyses were inspired from grounded theory and resulted in one core category and three sub-categories that represent sub-processes in the core. The core finding presents a continuous, intertwined process of learning and using everyday technology, highlighting how the context was interwoven in the processes. The participants used a rich variety of management strategies when approaching technology, including communication with the everyday technologies on different levels. The findings underscore that it is important to support continued use of everyday technology as long as it is valued and relevant to the person with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease. The intertwined process of learning and using everyday technology suggests how support could target different sub-processes.

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