Robots in Older People’s Homes to Improve Medication Adherence and Quality of Life: A Randomised Cross-Over Trial
Healthcare robots are being developed to help older people maintain independence. This randomised cross-over trial aimed to investigate whether healthcare robots were acceptable and feasible and whether the robots could impact quality of life, depression and medication adherence. 29 older adults living in independent units within a retirement village were given robots in their homes for 6 weeks and had a non-robot 6-week control period, in a randomised order. The robots reminded people to take medication, provided memory games, entertainment, skype calls, and blood pressure measurement. The robots were found to be acceptable and feasible, and many participants described them as useful and as friends although not all comments were positive. There were relatively few problems with robot functions. The participants’ perceptions of the robots’ agency reduced over time. The robots had no significant impact on adherence, depression or quality of life. While the robots were feasible and acceptable, improvements in their reliability and functionality may increase their efficacy.
Keywordsrobots quality of life medication adherence blood pressure companion acceptance
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