The integration of technology into a home-based visuo-cognitive training intervention for people with Parkinson’s: Is the future digital?

Julia Das, Gill Barry, Richard Walker, Rodrigo Vitorio, Rosie Morris, Samuel Stuart*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Mobile applications and technology (e.g., stroboscopic glasses) are increasingly being used to deliver combined visual and cognitive (termed visuo-cognitive) training that replaces standard pen and paper-based interventions. These ‘technological visuo-cognitive training’ (TVT) interventions could help address the complex problems associated with visuo-cognitive dysfunction in people with long term neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. As data emerges to support the effectiveness of these technologies, patient perspectives offer an insight into how novel TVT is received by people living with long term neurological conditions.

To explore experiences of people with Parkinson’s in using technology as part of a home-based visuo-cognitive training programme compared to traditional approaches to rehabilitation.

Eight people with Parkinson’s who took part in a pilot randomised cross-over trial, investigating the efficacy and feasibility of TVT compared to standard care, were interviewed to explore their experiences of each arm of the training they received. Integration of Normalisation Process Theory (NPT) into the analysis enabled examination of the potential to embed novel TVT into a home-based rehabilitation intervention for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Three key themes emerged from the thematic analysis as factors influencing the implementation potential of TVT for people with Parkinson’s disease: perceived value of technology, perceived ease of use and support mechanisms. Further examination of the data through the lens of NPT revealed that the implantation and embedding of novel technology was dependent on positive user experience, individual disease manifestation and engagement with a professional.

Our findings provide insights into the challenges of engaging with technology-based interventions while living with a progressive and fluctuating disease. When implementing technology-based interventions for people with Parkinson’s, we recommend that patients and clinicians collaborate to determine whether the technology fits the capacity, preference, and treatment needs of the individual patient.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0285100
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023

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