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Table 3 Reported changes in informal carers

From: Informal carers’ experience of assistive technology use in dementia care at home: a systematic review

Studies Positive change Negative change No change Statistically significant change
Gitlin LN et al. [35] Overall somewhat to very helpful.    
Rowe MA et al. [36] • Experimental group 85% less likely to sustain an event.
• Caregivers reported satisfaction and confidence in preventing night time injuries and exit using the NMS.
Rowe MA et al. [37]    • No significant improvement in sleep for caregivers.
• NMS not sufficient as standalone treatment.
Olsson A et al. [73] • Decreased level of worry about PwD’s independent outdoor activities.   • No significant changes in perceived well-being and burden.  
Pot AM et al. [74] • Decrease in the feelings of worry when they could reach PwD.
• 30% of carers reported they got time for other things since using the GPS.
  • Feelings of role-overload were not significantly reduced during the study period.  
Kinney JM et al. [38] • 87.5% of carers reported that the monitoring system made life easier (peace of mind, added security, easier to keep track of PwD).
• 68.75% report that the system gave carers more free time and more time for self.
• 43.75% of carers report that the system made life more difficult (cell phone alerts can be annoying; one more thing to worry about)   
Duff P et al. [75]
• Carer burden decreased very slightly during the course of the trial.
• 100% of carers using picture telephone and cooker monitor reported satisfaction.
• Over 75% of carers reported satisfaction with other AT used in the trial.
Rialle V et al. [76] • Tracking devices were better appreciated by women.
• Younger caregivers found AT more useful than elderly.
Landau R et al. [77] • GPS device used for sake of patients’ safety or for carers’ peace of mind.    
Chen Y-C et al. [78] • Most caregivers hope technological products (lost seeking devices) would increase the efficiency and safety    
Alwin J et al. [79]    • AT for time orientation, day planning and memory devices were more frequently associated with group of carers who reported some/no significant fulfilment and importance. • Carers receiving alarm/security devices reported high fulfilment and importance.
Lim F S et al. [80] • 47.63% of carers reported AT (iPad) was helpful    
McKenzie B et al. [81] • AT devices provided immediate relief, reduce stress and helped carers provide care more easily and safely.    
Schulz R et al. [39]    • Caregivers balance costs against potential benefits such as improved functioning, increased autonomy, reduced burden, better health and enhanced safety.  
Kamimura T [82] • Three caregivers maintained score of little burden or less and one caregiver had a score of mild burden throughout.    
Korchut A et al. [83]    • Reminders for medication was a high priority.
• Carers viewed robotic technology positively.
Topo P et al. [85]
• 78% of carers found the night and day calendar useful 3 weeks after use and 82% after 6 months of use.    
Meiland F et al. [86]
   • No effect on burden or quality of life of the carers.  
Nijhof N et al. [87]
• The cost analysis showed that it is more cost-effective for clients with dementia to live at home with the system [PAL4-dementia system] than to stay in a nursing home.    
Mehrabian S et al. [88]
• 83% of carers felt the system [telecare prototype] had potential for helping in urgent situations.
• 70% of carers felt that they would be ready and accept testing the system at home.
Lewis V et al. [89]
• 65% of carers comments were positive with respect to utility of the MP3 player.   • No change in self-rated general health.
• No change in overall level of satisfaction
• Significant increase in the total Symptom Management Self-Efficacy score (a measure how confident the caregiver is that they will be able to manage problems that come up and deal with the frustrations of caring). Mean at baseline was 23.5 (SD = 6.1) and 27.0 after 4 weeks (SD = 7.5) (t = − 3.1, df = 47, p < 0.01).
Hattink B J et al. [90]
• All informal carers felt the system [Rosetta] despite technical difficulties, is very useful and that they were happy with it.   • No significant differences on quality of life, perceived autonomy and feeling of competence between participants who used the Rosetta system and those who received usual care (the control group).  
Navarro R F et al. [91]
• Caregiver burden levels show a decreasing trend, while levels of self-efficacy in caregivers increased by using the ambient assisted intervention system.    
Liu L et al. [92]
  • Some problems relate to false alarms and notifications.   
Tyack C et al. [42]
   • No significant change of quality of life or well-being across the intervention [tablet computer].