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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2014

Exploring the usability of a videophone mock-up for persons with dementia and their significant others

BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2014
Inga-Lill Boman, Stefan Lundberg, Sofia Starkhammar, Louise Nygård
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2318-14-49) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

I-LB: Led on the data collection, analysis and interpretation, contributed on design of the product, wrote the first draft of the manuscript. SL: Contributed to the design of the product, data collection and critical revision of manuscript drafts. SS: Contributed to data collection and critical revision of manuscript drafts. LN: Lead for the project, led on the conception and design, supervised the researchers, and critical revision of manuscript drafts. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Persons with dementia might have considerable difficulties in using an ordinary telephone. Being able to use the telephone can be very important in order to maintain their social network, getting stimulation and for reaching help when needed. Therefore, persons with dementia might need an easy-to-use videophone to prevent social isolation and to feel safe and independent. This study reports the evaluation of the usability of a touch-screen videophone mock-up for persons with dementia and their significant others.


Four persons with dementia and their significant others tested the videophone mock-up at a living laboratory. In order to gain knowledge of the participants’ with dementia ability to use their own computers and telephones, interviews and observations were conducted.


Overall, the participants had a very positive attitude towards the videophone. The participants with dementia perceived that it was useful, enjoyable and easy to use, although they initially had difficulties in understanding how to handle some functions, thus indicating that the design needs to be further developed to be more intuitive.


The findings suggest that the videophone has the potential to enable telephone calls without assistance and add quality in communication.
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