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Virtual baby used as a virtual environment for patients with severe dementia

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9 Author(s)
Yonemitsu, S. ; Fujimoto-Hayasuzu Hosp., Miyazaki, Japan ; Nakamura, K. ; Itoh, A. ; Higashi, Y.
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We gave patients with severe dementia a babylike doll to serve as a virtual baby in a therapeutic program and after dinner when the subjects missed their homes. In the therapeutic program, an occupational therapist provided the patients with two soft plastic dolls and one silicone doll, complete with dress and cap, for 90 seconds. The activities of the patients were observed by the occupational therapist and classified into four categories (no reaction, close observation, care of the doll, communication with other residents and caregivers). In the 60-minute therapeutic program, the total number of activity episodes was around 300. The dolls were also placed in the main hall after dinner, but the only patients who noticed them were those interested in the virtual babies. The patients appeared much happier and less agitated when handling the dolls. Although doll therapy is not suitable for everybody, it is a useful tool in occupational therapy.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2001. Proceedings of the 23rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE  (Volume:4 )

Date of Conference:

2001

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