Learning Objective 1: Apply the knowledge of robotic animals to a variety of practice situations to improve quality of life.
Learning Objective 2: Compare robotic animals and reading as a means of improving quality of life in people with cognitive impairment.
Methods: A randomised crossover design, with PARO and reading control groups, was employed. Eighteen residents, with mid to late stage dementia, from one aged care facility in Queensland, Australia were recruited. Participants were assessed three times on Quality of Life in Alzheimer’s Disease, Rating Anxiety in Dementia, Apathy Evaluation, Geriatric Depression and Algase Wandering Scales (revised) and once a week video observations of the intervention and control group activity.
Results: PARO had a moderate to large positive influence on participants’ Quality of Life compared to the Reading group participants. The PARO intervention group had higher pleasure scores when compared to the Reading group. Video observations demonstrated participants’ enjoyment when engaging with PARO.
Conclusion: Findings suggest PARO may be useful as a treatment option for people with dementia; however, the need for a larger trial was identified.