Smartphone-Based Experience Sampling in People With Mild Cognitive Impairment: Feasibility and Usability Study

Sara Laureen Bartels*, Rosalia J. M. van Knippenberg, Camilla Malinowsky, Frans R. J. Verhey, Marjolein E. de Vugt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Daily functioning of people with cognitive disorders such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is usually depicted by retrospective questionnaires, which can be memory-biased and neglect fluctuations over time or contexts.

Objective: This study examines the feasibility and usability of applying the experience sampling method (ESM) in people with MCI to provide a detailed and dynamic picture of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive patterns in everyday life.

Methods: For 6 consecutive days, 21 people with MCI used an ESM app on their smartphones. At 8 semi-random timepoints per day, participants filled in momentary questionnaires on mood, activities, social context, and subjective cognitive complaints. Feasibility was determined through self-reports and observable human-technology interactions. Usability was demonstrated on an individual and group level.

Results: Of the 21 participants, 3 dropped out due to forgetting to carry their smartphones or forgetting the study instructions. In the remaining 18 individuals, the compliance rate was high, at 78.7%. Participants reported that momentary questions reflected their daily experiences well. Of the 18 participants, 13 (72%) experienced the increase in awareness of their own memory functions as pleasant or neutral.

Conclusions: Support was found for the general feasibility of smartphone-based experience sampling in people with MCI. However, many older adults with MCI are currently not in possession of smartphones, and study adherence seems challenging for a minority of individuals. Momentary data can increase the insights into daily patterns and may guide the person-tailored development of self-management strategies in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19852
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume22
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • experience sampling method
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • cognition
  • feasibility
  • smartphones
  • ECOLOGICAL MOMENTARY ASSESSMENT
  • OLDER-ADULTS
  • HOSPITAL ANXIETY
  • DEMENTIA
  • DEPRESSION
  • HEALTH
  • INTERVENTIONS
  • VALIDITY
  • BEHAVIOR
  • CONTEXT

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