A systematic review of self-care assistive technologies for aging population

Abstract 0

A gradual decline in functional and mental capacity as well as a growing risk of care dependency constitute major concerns of life in old age. These should become larger and more urgent in future, because the number of people 80+ is projected to more than double from 2010 to 2050 at least in EU and OECD countries. On the other side, there is a strong desire of older people, their relatives and policy makers to maintain the autonomy in old age as long as possible. In reaction to this, there have been strong social policy recommendations to develop and promote the use of assistive technologies (ATs). Whereas systematic reviews already exist for several other kinds of ATs, reviews about self-care ATs are still missing. Based on systematic literature searches in PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and Google Scholar databases 203 papers were identified of which 12 were included according to our selection criteria. The methodological quality of all the reviewed studies is evaluated. We reviewed findings on indicators of independent living as efficiency criteria as well as evidence about facilitators and barriers of using these technologies. Self-care ATs turned out to be efficient with respect to reduced care hours and increased independence level. The actual use of these ATs was associated with personal, contextual, and device factors. Lack of randomized control trial studies and a need for further research about ATs in several domains of self-care activities is revealed. Based on the findings of the current review, we generate recommendations for future research.

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