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Assistive technology in dementia care: methodological issues in research design

Annette Altendorf (Academic Department for Old Age Psychiatry, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia)
Jason Schreiber (Forensic Physician. Clinical Forensic Medicine (CFM), Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM), Melbourne, Australia AND Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Assistive Technologies

ISSN: 1754-9450

Article publication date: 16 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to illustrate some of the ethical issues and methodological obstacles encountered when trialling and using safer walking technologies and monitoring devices in dementia care.


Using a number of recent studies as examples statistical, methodological and ethical issues are illustrated, which impact on the feasibility of randomised controlled trials or quasi-experimental designs.


Much has already been achieved in using technology to aid people with memory and related problems. However, statistical evidence for the effectiveness of safer walking and monitoring devices in dementia care is still lacking. Careful considerations such as treat the client as you would like to be treated should be applied, when making a decision about a particular device.


Safer walking and monitoring technology for people with memory and related problems is a rapidly advancing field of research. This is an updated discussion on methodological, statistical and ethical issues.



Altendorf, A. and Schreiber, J. (2015), "Assistive technology in dementia care: methodological issues in research design", Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 38-47.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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