The Impact of Engagement with the PARO Therapeutic Robot on the Psychological Benefits of Older Adults with Dementia

Shu Chuan Chen*, Cindy Jones, Wendy Moyle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
109 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to examine the effect of 8-weeks of a 60-minute PARO intervention to reduce depressive symptoms and loneliness in older adults with dementia and investigated changes in their emotional or behavioral expressions and level of engagement with the PARO robot. 

Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study with a repeated measures design. The outcome measures were evaluated at four time-points: before the intervention, week 4, immediately after the intervention, and one month after the PARO intervention. 

Results: Fifty-two participants were recruited. The age of the participants ranged from 65 to 96 years, with a mean age of 81.81 years (SD = 8.54) in the PARO group and 79.08 years (SD = 7.71) in the control group. Using a mixed between-within subjects’ analysis of variance, the results showed that there were significant interaction effects between the groups and time-periods for depression (p <.000), loneliness (p <.000), and engagement (p <.000). 

Conclusions: The PARO intervention alleviated depression and loneliness for older adults. Furthermore, the process of engagement with PARO may play an important role in the PARO effects. Clinical Implications: A tailored PARO intervention of at least 4 weeks could engender positive psychological benefits for older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Gerontologist
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Sept 2022

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