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Exploring the effect of companion robots on emotional expression in older adults with dementia: a pilot randomized controlled trial


Moyle, Wendy, Cooke, Marie, Beattie, Elizabeth, Jones, Cindy, Klein, Barbara, Cook, Glenda, Gray, Chrystal


Journal Of Gerontological Nursing, Volume: 39, No.: 5, Pages.: 46-53

Year of Publication



This pilot study aimed to compare the effect of companion robots (PARO) to participation in an interactive reading group on emotions in people living with moderate to severe dementia in a residential care setting. A randomized crossover design, with PARO and reading control groups, was used. Eighteen residents with mid- to late-stage dementia from one aged care facility in Queensland, Australia, were recruited. Participants were assessed three times using the Quality of Life in Alzheimer’s Disease, Rating Anxiety in Dementia, Apathy Evaluation, Geriatric Depression, and Revised Algase Wandering Scales. PARO had a moderate to large positive influence on participants’ quality of life compared to the reading group. The PARO intervention group had higher pleasure scores when compared to the reading group. Findings suggest PARO may be useful as a treatment option for people with dementia; however, the need for a larger trial was identified.; Copyright 2013, SLACK Incorporated.

Bibtex Citation

@article{Moyle_2013, doi = {10.3928/00989134-20130313-03}, url = {}, year = 2013, month = {mar}, publisher = {{SLACK}, Inc.}, volume = {39}, number = {5}, pages = {46--53}, author = {Wendy Moyle and Marie Cooke and Elizabeth Beattie and Cindy Jones and Barbara Klein and Glenda Cook and Chrystal Gray}, title = {Exploring the Effect of Companion Robots on Emotional Expression in Older Adults with Dementia: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial}, journal = {Journal of Gerontological Nursing} }


aged, companion, dementia, emotions, group, humans, interactive, pilot projects, psychology, quality of life, queensland, reading, robotics, robots, wandering

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Behaviour, Depression and Anxiety, Other, Quality of Life of Person With Dementia


Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

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

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Social activities (e.g. lunch clubs, cinema outings, trips to sporting events etc, peer support)