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Engaging older adults with dementia in creative occupations using artificially intelligent assistive technology


Leuty, Valerie, Boger, Jennifer, Young, Laurel, Hoey, Jesse, Mihailidis, Alex


Assistive Technology: The Official Journal Of RESNA, Volume: 25, No.: 2, Pages.: 72-79

Year of Publication



Engagement in creative occupations has been shown to promote well-being for older adults with dementia. Providing access to such occupations is often difficult, as successful participation requires face-time with a person who is knowledgeable in facilitating engagement as well as access to any required resources, such as an arts studio. In response, a computer-based device, the Engaging Platform for Art Development (ePAD), was created to with the aim of enabling more independent access to art creation, ePAD is a an artificially intelligent touch-screen device that estimates a client’s level of engagement and provides prompts to encourage engagement if the client becomes disengaged. ePAD is customizable such that an art therapist can choose themes and tools that they feel reflect their client’s needs and preferences. This article presents a mixed-methods study that evaluated ePAD’s usability by six older adult (with mild-to-moderate dementia) and art therapist dyads. Usability measures suggest that all participants found ePAD engaging but did not find prompts effective. Future development of ePAD includes improving the prompts, implementing the recommendations made by participants in this research, and long-term testing in more naturalistic art therapy contexts.;


aged, aged, 80 and over, art, art therapy, artificial intelligence, attitude of health personnel, creativity, dementia, development, device, electronic, engagement, for, humans, instrumentation, patient satisfaction, platform, psychology, screen, therapy, touch, usability, with

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Before and After Study

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment, Technology (telephone, telecare, telehealth, robots, GPS)

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Arts and Music Interventions (including Art and Music Therapy)