Mobile health applications for people with dementia: A systematic review and synthesis of qualitative studies

Andrew Brown, Siobhan O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To review the qualitative literature on mobile health applications for people with dementia.

Methods: A systematic review was undertaken. Five databases were searched using relevant keywords. Titles, abstracts and full-text papers were screened independently by two reviewers. Data extraction and quality assessment were conducted. Analysis was guided by framework synthesis and underpinned by the Digital Health Engagement Model.

Results: Nine studies were included. Three themes emerged around the experiences of people with dementia when using health apps. The technology seemed to improve some aspects of physical, mental and social health such as stimulating cognitive function and communication skills. When implementing health applications with persons with dementia six themes came to light. How well an application or mobile device was designed and the quality of information on it, seemed to influence use. Digital knowledge and skills were also needed to engage with the technology. One’s personal lifestyle and agency were other relevant factors affecting implementation, along with the health of an individual with dementia.

Conclusion: Further research examining the efficacy of health apps for people with dementia is required. Utilizing co-design approaches to create mobile technology with those with dementia should also be considered.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)343-359
Number of pages17
JournalInformatics for Health and Social Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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