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Care staff perceptions of a social robot called Paro and a look-alike Plush Toy: a descriptive qualitative approach


Moyle, W and Bramble, M and Jones, C and Murfield, J, Care staff perceptions of a social robot called Paro and a look-alike Plush Toy: a descriptive qualitative approach, Aging and Mental Health, 22, (3) pp. 330-335. ISSN 1360-7863 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Griffith University

DOI: doi:10.1080/13607863.2016.1262820


Objectives: Social robots such as Paro, a therapeutic companion robot, have recently been introduced into dementia care as a means to reduce behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. The purpose of this study was to explore care staff perceptions of Paro and a look-alike non-robotic animal, including benefits and limitations in dementia care.

Methods: The study assumed a descriptive qualitative approach, nested within a large cluster-randomised controlled trial. We interviewed a subsample of 20 facility care staff, from nine long-term care facilities in Southeast Queensland, Australia. Thematic analysis of the data, which was inductive and data-driven, was undertaken with the assistance of the qualitative software, ATLAS.ti.

Results: The findings refer to four categories: increasing excitement for Paro and decreasing enthusiasm for Plush Toy; value and function of Paro; opportunities for engagement; and alternatives vs. robustness.

Conclusion: Staff caring for people with dementia preferred Paro compared to a look-alike Plush Toy. Staff identified that Paro had the potential to improve quality of life for people with dementia, whereas the Plush Toy had limitations when compared to Paro. However, participants expressed concern that the cost of Paro could reduce opportunities for use within aged care.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:aged care staff, paro companion robot, older adult, social robot, long-term care, dementia
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Aged care nursing
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Bramble, M (Dr Marguerite Bramble)
ID Code:113262
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-12-17
Last Modified:2018-01-24

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