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Research Article  |   July 2006
The Use of Automated Prompting to Facilitate Handwashing in Persons With Dementia
Author Affiliations
  • Katrinka-Lee Labelle is Research Assistant, Centre for Studies in Aging, Sunnybrook and Women’s College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Alex Mihailidis is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, 500 University Avenue, Room 916, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1V7, Canada; alex.mihailidis@utoronto.ca
Article Information
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia / Neurologic Conditions / Mental Health Practice Concepts
Research Article   |   July 2006
The Use of Automated Prompting to Facilitate Handwashing in Persons With Dementia
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2006, Vol. 60, 442-450. doi:10.5014/ajot.60.4.442
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2006, Vol. 60, 442-450. doi:10.5014/ajot.60.4.442
Abstract

As the number of people living with dementia increases, occupational therapists are challenged with finding innovative, evidence-based ways to enable daily occupations. The use of computer technology is explored in this study as one potential intervention for this population. An automated prompting system was modified to provide both verbal and audiovisual prompts, and 8 participants with Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE) scores as low as 3/30 were followed over 60 trials to determine which prompting method was more effective in reducing caregiver interactions. Overall, the participants were able to complete more steps with the assistance of either automated prompt and required fewer caregiver interactions. Audiovisual prompting significantly reduced the number of caregiver interactions required. These results lend further support to the use of an automated prompting system but suggest that there are individual factors influencing the efficacy of the prompting mode, for which occupational therapists are well suited to assess and monitor.