Socially Assistive Robots (SAR) may help improve care delivery at home for older adults with cognitive impairment and reduce the burden of informal caregivers. Examining the views of these stakeholders on SAR is fundamental in order to conceive acceptable and useful SAR for dementia care. This study investigated SAR acceptance among three groups of older adults living in the community: persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment, informal caregivers of persons with dementia, and healthy older adults. Different technology acceptance questions related to the robot and user characteristics, potential applications, feelings about technology, ethical issues, and barriers and facilitators for SAR adoption, were addressed in a mixed-method study. Participants (n = 25) completed a survey and took part in a focus group (n = 7). A functional robot prototype, a multimedia presentation, and some use-case scenarios provided a base for the discussion. Content analysis was carried out based on recorded material from focus groups. Results indicated that an accurate insight on influential factors for SAR acceptance could be gained by combining quantitative and qualitative methods. Participants acknowledged the potential benefits of SAR for supporting care at home for individuals with cognitive impairment. In all the three groups, intention to use SAR was found to be lower for the present time than that anticipated for the future. However, caregivers and persons with MCI had a higher perceived usefulness and intention to use SAR, at the present time, than healthy older adults, confirming that current needs are strongly related to technology acceptance and should influence SAR design. A key theme that emerged in this study was the importance of customizing SAR appearance, services, and social capabilities. Mismatch between needs and solutions offered by the robot, usability factors, and lack of experience with technology were seen as the most important barriers for SAR adoption.


Journal Article





Pino, Maribel (Author)
Boulay, Mélodie (Author)
Jouen, François (Author)
Rigaud, Anne-Sophie (Author)




Professional Fields