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A natural language-based presentation of cognitive stimulation to people with dementia in assistive technology : a pilot study

Cuayahuitl, Heriberto; Dethlefs, Nina; Milders, Maarten; Cuayáhuitl, Heriberto; Al-Salkini, Turkey; Douglas, Lorraine


Heriberto Cuayahuitl

Maarten Milders

Heriberto Cuayáhuitl

Turkey Al-Salkini

Lorraine Douglas


Currently, an estimated 36 million people worldwide are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. In the absence of a cure, non-pharmacological interventions, such as cognitive stimulation, which slow down the rate of deterioration can benefit people with dementia and their caregivers. Such interventions have shown to improve well-being and slow down the rate of cognitive decline. It has further been shown that cognitive stimulation in interaction with a computer is as effective as with a human. However, the need to operate a computer often represents a difficulty for the elderly and stands in the way of widespread adoption. A possible solution to this obstacle is to provide a spoken natural language interface that allows people with dementia to interact with the cognitive stimulation software in the same way as they would interact with a human caregiver. This makes the assistive technology accessible to users regardless of their technical skills and provides a fully intuitive user experience. This article describes a pilot study that evaluated the feasibility of computer-based cognitive stimulation through a spoken natural language interface. Prototype software was evaluated with 23 users, including healthy elderly people and people with dementia. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.


Cuayahuitl, H., Dethlefs, N., Milders, M., Cuayáhuitl, H., Al-Salkini, T., & Douglas, L. (2017). A natural language-based presentation of cognitive stimulation to people with dementia in assistive technology : a pilot study. Informatics for Health and Social Care, 42(4), 349-360.

Acceptance Date Nov 9, 2016
Online Publication Date Jan 9, 2017
Publication Date Oct 2, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 11, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 17, 2018
Journal Informatics for health & social care
Print ISSN 1753-8157
Electronic ISSN 1753-8165
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 42
Issue 4
Pages 349-360
Keywords Assistive technology; Natural language; Dementia; Cognitive stimulation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2018 University of Hull
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:


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