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older adults, Sheridan Elder Research Centre


Suvien is a new tablet-based app that can display personalized multi-media content to facilitate conversation with an individual who has dementia. The Sheridan Centre for Elder Research, in partnership with the Ontario Brain Institute and the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, conducted a small 6-week pilot study to evaluate the impact, usability and effectiveness of the app on the caregiving process. Participants agreed to use the app over the course of their regular caregiving duties for at least a 2-3 times per week. A total of seven family caregivers (5 female, 2 male) and a program worker who used the app with three older adults attending a day program participated in the pilot. Participants completed pre and post measures about their caregiver experience, their use of technology, frequency and quality of interactions and emotional affect. They were provided with a journal to record their observations. At the end of the 6 weeks participants attended a debriefing interview about their experience with the app. Results showed that the app provided an easy-to-use, accessible and enjoyable conversational tool with potential as a mood changer, a distractor, and a prompt for storytelling. Interface issues identified in the trial were conveyed to the Suvien team for consideration before a public launch.


Sheridan Research


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Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Collins, S., McDonald, P., Caffery, P., Pratten, S., Camino, P., Tsotsos, L., & Spadafora, P. (2015). Suvien: Impact, usability and effectiveness. [Report]. Oakville: Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC).

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