Exploring How Persons with Dementia and Care Partners Collaboratively Appropriate Information and Communication Technologies

Amy S. Hwang, Piper Jackson, Andrew Sixsmith, Louise Nygård, Arlene Astell, Khai N. Truong, Alex Mihailidis

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Persons with dementia and their care partners have been found to adapt their own technological arrangements using commercially available information and communication technologies (ICTs). Yet, little is known about these processes of technology appropriation and how care practices are impacted. Adopting a relational perspective of care, we longitudinally examined how four family care networks appropriated a new commercial ICT service into their existing technological arrangements and care practices. Cross-case analysis interpreted collaborative appropriation to encompass two interrelated processes of creating and adapting technological practices and negotiating and augmenting care relationships. Four driving forces were also proposed: motivating meanings that actors ascribe to the technology and its use; the learnability of the technology and actors' resourcefulness; the establishment of responsive and cooperative care practices; and the qualities of empathy and shared power in care relationships. The importance of technological literacy, learning, meaning-making, and the nature and quality of care relationships are discussed. Future work is urged to employ longitudinal and naturalistic approaches, and focus design efforts on promoting synergistic care relationships and care practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

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