Washington DC [US], September 7 (ANI): To drive positive and effective change in line with the call from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to reevaluate the quality of aged care in Australia, experts at the Caring Futures Institute at South Australia’s Flinders University are for the first time employing cutting-edge eye-tracking technology.
More than 50% of Australians living in residential aged care facilities have a dementia diagnosis, with aged care services around the world preparing for the number of older people aged 65 years and above to double in the next 30 years.
The Quality of Life-Aged Care Consumers (QOL-ACC) and the Quality of Care Experience-Aged Care Consumers (QCE-ACC), two new validated quality assessment tools, have been developed by the Flinders University research group and are now widely available and used in the aged care industry.
Now, the eye-tracking technology with older people living with dementia in residential aged care facilities will improve the online assessment tools to enable wider collection of self-reported quality of care and quality of life information from older people themselves, said Matthew Flinders senior research fellow Dr Rachel Milte of new article published in Quality of Life Research.
“Older adults living with a diagnosis of dementia in residential care can find it challenging to respond to traditional text-based questionnaires to rate the quality of life and quality of care they receive.”
“By using eye-tracking technology we can collect crucial information about how older people with dementia read and respond to questionnaires, helping to understand how we can better design and adapt these for their needs.”
In the study, researchers asked 41 residents ranging from ‘no’ to ‘mild or moderate’ cognitive impairment to complete a simple quality-of-life survey while sitting at a computer installed with eye-tracking technology.
In real-time, the technology records where participants focus their eye gaze while completing the questionnaire, the text they read and don’t read, and parts of the questionnaire they spend the most time looking at.
“This information helps us to design questionnaires which are easier for older people to complete, as well as understand whether they are reading all the key information to give high-quality data for use in assessing quality of care in residential aged care homes.”
Dr Milte and her colleague Dr Jyoti Khadka are now expanding this research program with funding from an Australian Association of Gerontology Strategic Innovation Grant.
“The next project will focus on maximising self-completion of questionnaires and reduce the need to rely on proxy assessments by family members or close friends, which will support the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program,” says Dr Khadka.
“To have an aged care system which truly meets the expectations of all Australians, we need to understand the quality of care of all older people from their own perspectives. This includes people with dementia,” he says.
“We know from research in the disability sector and aphasia (language disorder) research that people with communication difficulties can self-report their own quality of life, if instruments are tailored to their needs and abilities,” he says.
The research will draw together information from diverse research areas including accessible communication, aged care research and health economics and bring it together for the first time to develop quality assessment tools that support the inclusion of self-reported quality of life and quality of care data from people living with dementia.
These accessible communication tools will be designed to be applied alongside traditional text-based questionnaires to enable a broad understanding of the quality of care experienced by older people in residential aged care.
“Ultimately, the new tools will provide accurate information to policymakers and practitioners about which innovations in care should be funded to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of all older Australians,” concluded Dr Milte. (ANI)
This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.
Source: The Print