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The effect of PARO on social engagement, communication, and quality of life in people living with dementia in residential care

Prof Wendy Moyle, Prof Elizabeth Beattie, Prof Glenda Cook
Research Centre DCRC Carers and Consumers
Partner Institution Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, Northumbria University, UK, Fachochschule Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Project Description

PARO is a therapeutic, pet-type robot with the appearance of a baby harp seal. It was developed in Japan and was intended to have a calming effect on people living in nursing homes.

pictured: Prof Glenda Wood with PARA
(image credit: Northumbria University)


This project aims to compare the effect of PARO and participation in a reading group on social engagement, communication and quality of life in people with dementia living in long-term care.

This study will be a randomised control trial using a within-subjects, cross-over design.

Participants will be engaged in a structured group activity involving either PARO or a reading activity for 45 minutes, three times a week, for 5 weeks. This will be followed by 3 weeks of no activity (wash-out period), after which participants will 'cross-over' treatment groups and experience 5 weeks of the opposite activity (also three times a week for 45 minutes each time). Engagement and emotional state will be measured during each session, with quality of life, anxiety, depression and apathy measured before and after the interventions.

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