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Open Access 01-12-2022 | Care | Research

Determinants of implementing pet robots in nursing homes for dementia care

Authors: Wei Qi Koh, Elaine Toomey, Aisling Flynn, Dympna Casey

Published in: BMC Geriatrics | Issue 1/2022

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Abstract

Background

Pet robots have been employed as viable substitutes to pet therapy in nursing homes. Despite their potential to enhance the psychosocial health of residents with dementia, there is a lack of studies that have investigated determinants of implementing pet robots in real-world practice. This study aims to explore the determinants of implementing pet robots for dementia care in nursing homes, from the perspectives of healthcare professionals and organisational leaders.

Methods

A descriptive qualitative study, conceptualised and guided using the Consolidated Framework of Implementation Research (CFIR), was conducted. We conducted semi-structured interviews with healthcare professionals and organisational leaders from nursing homes. Data was transcribed and analysed using Framework Analysis, based on the CFIR as an a priori framework.

Results

A total of 22 participants from eight nursing homes were included. Determinants were mapped to constructs from all five CFIR domains. Determinants relating to the characteristics of pet robots include their design, realisticness and interactivity, affordability, cleanability, perceived evidence strength and comparative advantages to live pets. Determinants relating to external influences (outer setting) include national regulatory guidelines, funding and networks with other organisations. With regards to characteristics of nursing homes (inner setting), determinants include the relevance of pet robots in relation to the needs of residents with dementia, alignment with care processes, infection control mandates and their relative priority. In the domain ‘characteristics of individuals’, determinants were associated with individuals’ beliefs on the role of technology, desires to enhance residents’ quality of life, and differential attitudes on the use of robots. Finally, in the domain ‘implementation process’, assessments and care planning were identified as determinants.

Conclusions

Overall, while sentiments around determinants within CFIR domains of pet robots’ characteristics, outer setting and implementation process were similar, participants’ opinions on the determinants within the ‘inner setting’ and ‘characteristics of individuals’ were more varied. This could be due to different organisational structures, disciplinary differences and personal experiences of using pet robots. Many determinants in different domains were interrelated. Findings provide a springboard for identifying and designing implementation strategies to guide the translation of pet robots from research into real-world practice.
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Metadata
Title
Determinants of implementing pet robots in nursing homes for dementia care
Authors
Wei Qi Koh
Elaine Toomey
Aisling Flynn
Dympna Casey
Publication date
01-12-2022
Publisher
BioMed Central
Published in
BMC Geriatrics / Issue 1/2022
Electronic ISSN: 1471-2318
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-022-03150-z

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