Improved Knowledge Changes the Mindset: Older Adults’ Perceptions of Care Robots

  • Rose-Marie Johansson-Pajala
  • Kirsten Thommes
  • Julia A. Hoppe
  • Outi Tuisku
  • Lea Hennala
  • Satu Pekkarinen
  • Helinä Melkas
  • Christine GustafssonEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11592)


This paper explores Finnish, German and Swedish older adults’ perceptions of a future welfare service with increased use of welfare technologies, specifically care robots. The issues are the rapid digitalization and development of health and welfare technology, which presently is mainly technology driven (not need or user driven), and the demographic challenge. The aim of the study was to explore older adults’ perception of the future use of welfare technology or care robots. A qualitative approach with focus group discussions was employed, followed by thematic analysis. The results are presented in four overall themes: the impact on daily life for older adults and professional caregivers, codes of practice and terms of use, dissemination of information and knowledge, and conditions for successful implementation. There were significant differences in the informants’ attitudes toward and knowledge about care robots. However, the informants’ attitudes appeared to change during the focus groups and in general, became more positive. Authentic needs, which care robots could support, refer to independence, safety and security, and the ability to manage or ease daily life or working life. The results suggest that older adults, after receiving relevant information, were open to the idea of being supported by care robots in their daily lives.


Care robots Older adults Implementation Information Perceptions Welfare technology 



This study was supported by the ORIENT project under the JTC 2017 launched by JPI MYBL. The support of the JPI MYBL and the national funders within the JPI MYBL framework is gratefully acknowledged (award no. 2017-02300 by Forte, Sweden; award no. 16SV7954 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany, and award no. 318837 by the Academy of Finland).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rose-Marie Johansson-Pajala
    • 1
  • Kirsten Thommes
    • 2
  • Julia A. Hoppe
    • 2
  • Outi Tuisku
    • 3
  • Lea Hennala
    • 3
  • Satu Pekkarinen
    • 3
  • Helinä Melkas
    • 3
  • Christine Gustafsson
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Mälardalen UniversityEskilstuna/VästeråsSweden
  2. 2.Paderborn UniversityPaderbornGermany
  3. 3.Lappeenranta University of TechnologyLahtiFinland

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