Digital Storytelling and Dementia

  • Elly Park
  • Hollis Owens
  • David Kaufman
  • Lili Liu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10298)


Digital storytelling is a form of narrative that creates short films using media technology such as downloading still photos, sound, music, and videos. Past research has indicated benefits of storytelling for persons with dementia to include enhanced relationships and communication. The purpose of this research was to explore and understand digital storytelling as perceived and experienced by the storytellers themselves.

Using a multi-site case study design, the study was conducted in Edmonton, and will continue in Vancouver and Toronto. This paper presents preliminary data collected in Edmonton, the first site to commence. The study involved participants with dementia in a seven-session workshop over the period of six weeks, where they created digital stories with the help of researchers and care partners. Participants then discussed the experience of meeting with researchers, sharing stories and using technology including digital media. Lastly, there was an opportunity for participants to share their digital stories with loved ones and the public.

Data was collected through observational field notes and audio recorded workshop sessions and interviews. The recordings were transcribed and analyzed using NVivo 10 software and using a thematic analysis protocol.

Findings showed that overall participants enjoyed the process of creating digital stories, despite some challenges with communication, memory and using technology. Findings also provided insight into the best practices for a digital storytelling workshop as expressed by the storytellers with dementia. Digital storytelling has the potential for persons with dementia to share and preserve stories in a meaningful and rewarding way.


Digital storytelling Persons with dementia Qualitative research 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elly Park
    • 1
  • Hollis Owens
    • 2
  • David Kaufman
    • 2
  • Lili Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Occupational TherapyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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