Randomized controlled feasibility study of FindMyApps: first evaluation of a tablet-based intervention to promote self-management and meaningful activities in people with mild dementia

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ABSTRACT
Objectives: We tested the feasibility, implementation strategy and mechanism of impact of FindMyApps. FindMyApps is a tablet intervention consisting of a selection tool to help people with dementia find usable apps for self-management and meaningful activities, including training to support informal carers in employing errorless learning principles to help people with dementia learn tablet and tool usage.

Methods: We conducted an exploratory, pilot randomized controlled trial with a mixed-methods design. Twenty persons with mild dementia and carer dyads were randomly assigned to the FindMyApps group (n¼10), receiving either the FindMyApps training and selection tool, or a control condition (n¼10), receiving only a short tablet training. Pre- and post-test measurements at a three month follow-up, consisted of questionnaires and post-test semi-structured interviews.

Results: The FindMyApps tool was mostly perceived as useful and easy to use. Persons with dementia were generally able to learn how to use the tool, though they regularly needed support from informal carers. Persons with dementia found apps through the tool, which they used regularly. Persons with dementia and informal carers were positive about the training and support they received. No significant differences were found on outcome measures of persons with dementia, but based on effect sizes FindMyApps is a promising intervention.

Conclusions: Qualitative results indicate that the FindMyApps intervention has the potential to positively influence the self-management abilities and engagement in meaningful activities of people with dementia. Remarks are made to improve the intervention and recommendations are given for future effectiveness studies.