Background: Cognitive training and assessment technologies offer the promise of dementia risk reduction and a more timely diagnosis of dementia, respectively. Cognitive training games may help reduce the lifetime risk of dementia by helping to build cognitive reserve, whereas cognitive assessment technologies offer the opportunity for a more convenient approach to early detection or screening. Objective: This study aims to elicit perspectives of potential end users on factors related to the acceptability of cognitive training games and assessment technologies, including their opinions on the meaningfulness of measurement of cognition, barriers to and facilitators of adoption, motivations to use games, and interrelationships with existing health care infrastructure. Methods: Four linked workshops were conducted with the same group, each focusing on a specific topic: meaningful improvement, learning and motivation, trust in digital diagnosis, and barriers to technology adoption. Participants in the workshops included local involvement team members acting as facilitators and those recruited via Join Dementia Research through a purposive selection and volunteer sampling method. Group activities were recorded, and transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis with a combination of a priori and data-driven themes. Using a mixed methods approach, we investigated the relationships between the categories of the Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation–Behavior change model along with data-driven themes by measuring the φ coefficient between coded excerpts and ensuring the reliability of our coding scheme by using independent reviewers and assessing interrater reliability. Finally, we explored these themes and their relationships to address our research objectives. Results: In addition to discussions around the capability, motivation, and opportunity categories, several important themes emerged during the workshops: family and friends, cognition and mood, work and hobbies, and technology. Group participants mentioned the importance of functional and objective measures of cognitive change, the social aspect of activities as a motivating factor, and the opportunities and potential shortcomings of digital health care provision. Our quantitative results indicated at least moderate agreement on all but one of the coding schemes and good independence of our coding categories. Positive and statistically significant φ coefficients were observed between several coding themes between categories, including a relatively strong positive φ coefficient between capability and cognition (0.468; P<.001). Conclusions: The implications for researchers and technology developers include assessing how cognitive training and screening pathways would integrate into existing health care systems; however, further work needs to be undertaken to address barriers to adoption and the potential real-world impact of cognitive training and screening technologies.
Harrington, K., Craven, M. P., Wilson, M. L., & Landowska, A. (2022). Perceptions of Cognitive Training Games and Assessment Technologies for Dementia: Acceptability Study with Patient and Public Involvement Workshops. JMIR Serious Games, 10(2), Article e32489. https://doi.org/10.2196/32489