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Usability of web-based tools designed for communication and decision-making in dementia: systematic review and design brief

Monnet, Fanny; Craven, Michael P; Dupont, Charlèss; Van den Block, Lieve; Pivodic, Lara


Fanny Monnet

Charlèss Dupont

Lieve Van den Block

Lara Pivodic


Introduction: There is an increased number of web-based tools designed for people with dementia and their family caregivers and addressing communication and decision-making. The loss of cognitive functions associated with dementia can impact individuals’ experiences and use of web-based tools. There is a need for high quality and user-friendly web-based tools that support communication and decision-making for people with dementia and their family caregivers. Objective: To identify usability requirements, usability testing methods, and design suggestions from studies focusing on web-based tools for communication and decision-making support in dementia care. Methods: We conducted a systematic review with narrative synthesis. Five databases were systematically searched in February 2023. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Results: A total of 1,032 articles were identified and 7 fulfilled inclusion criteria. Web-based tools addressed technology usage, health promotion, home modification information, shared decision-making facilitation, information needs and social isolation. Methods to test usability included surveys, interviews, focus groups, cognitive walkthroughs and think-aloud procedures. Findings suggested reducing cognitive load, enhancing readability, providing clear language, and emphasising the need for additional support for people with dementia. Design recommendations include optimising information delivery and presentation, enhancing visual elements, streamlining navigation, providing concrete examples, using clear language, and offering training and tailored support. Conclusion: Usability requirements ranged from visual appearance and navigation to delivery of content and support needed. This review contributes to efforts to improve design and development of web-based tools targeting communication and decision-making in dementia care. Further research should address tailored support to enhance usability for people with dementia.


Monnet, F., Craven, M. P., Dupont, C., Van den Block, L., & Pivodic, L. (2024). Usability of web-based tools designed for communication and decision-making in dementia: systematic review and design brief. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 188, Article 105484.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date May 13, 2024
Online Publication Date May 15, 2024
Publication Date 2024-08
Deposit Date May 20, 2024
Publicly Available Date May 16, 2025
Journal International Journal of Medical Informatics
Print ISSN 1386-5056
Electronic ISSN 1872-8243
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 188
Article Number 105484
Keywords Dementia; Web-based tools; Communication; Decision-making; Usability; Web design; Systematic review
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