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J Gerontol Nurs. 2019 Jul 1;45(7):36-45. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20190531-01.

Evaluation of a Companion Robot for Individuals With Dementia: Quantitative Findings of the MARIO Project in an Irish Residential Care Setting.

Abstract

The current study focuses on the short-term effect of MARIO, a social robot, on quality of life, depression, and perceived social support in persons with dementia (PWD) and evaluates their acceptability of MARIO. Ten PWD in one nursing home took part in a 4-week pilot study, where each participant had up to 12 sessions with MARIO. Sessions comprised engagement in music, news, reminiscence, games, and calendar applications. Standardized questionnaires were administered before and after the 4-week period. Participants had a sustained interest in MARIO during their interactions and an acceptance of MARIO's appearance, sound, and applications. Consequently, participants spent more time socially engaged. No statistically significant differences were found in quality of life, depression, and perceived social support. PWD can engage with a social robot in a real-world nursing home. Future research should incorporate a larger sample and longer intervention period. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 45(7), 36-45.].

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