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Scand J Occup Ther. 2013 Sep;20(5):386-96. doi: 10.3109/11038128.2013.766761. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Significant junctures on the way towards becoming a user of assistive technology in Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Occupational Therapy, Karolinska Institutet, NVS, 141 83 Huddinge, Sweden.



The aim of this study was to describe how persons in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) became users of assistive technology (AT), and what the use of AT came to mean to these users and, when relevant, their significant others.


Persons with AD were provided with individually chosen AT during a six-month period. Semi-structured interviews were conducted during the intervention period. The data were analysed with a constant comparative approach.


On the way towards becoming a user of AT, four junctures were identified, at which significant decisions were made by the participants. These decisions influenced whether to become a user or not and related to how the initial decision was made, how the routines to incorporate the AT were adjusted, whether the participant trusted the AT, and whether the participants felt an increased sense of capacity when using the AT. As users, the participants perceived how time and effort was saved, how worries and stress decreased, and how their sense of safety increased, which enabled them to perform valued activities, e.g. health-promoting and social activities, to a greater extent and in a more relaxed way than before.


The findings support the view that AT can positively affect the activity performance of people with AD when the potential user can identify difficulties and needs and is motivated and able to make changes to overcome them, given that appropriate human support is available.

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