Memory Matters: A Mixed-Methods Feasibility Study of a Mobile Aid to Stimulate Reminiscence in Individuals With Memory Loss

Aimee V. Hamel, Tai L. Sims, Dan Klassen, Thomas Havey, Joseph E. Gaugler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Reminiscence interventions are potentially effective in improving wellbeing of persons with memory loss (PWMLs) and may also enhance relationships with family and professional caregivers. Using a parallel convergent mixed-methods design, the feasibility of "Memory Matters" (MM), a mobile device application developed to promote reminiscence, was evaluated. Eighteen PWMLs and eight family members were enrolled from a long-term care facility and asked to use MM for 4 weeks. Participants were observed using MM at enrollment and 2 weeks and completed 1-month interviews. Six staff participants also completed a system review checklist and/or focus group at 1 month. Three qualitative domains were identified: (a) context of use, (b) barriers to use, and (c) MM influences on outcomes. Participants reported real-time social engagement, ease of use, and other benefits. However, PWMLs were unlikely to overcome barriers without assistance. Empirical data indicated that family and staff perceived MM favorably. Participants agreed that MM could provide stimulating, reminiscence-based activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of gerontological nursing
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Mr. Havey and Dr. Klassen are paid employees of Moai Technologies, LLC. The remaining authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise. This research was supported by R43 LM012085 from the National Library of Medicine to Moai Technologies (D. Klassen, Principal Investigator [PI]) and K02 AG029480 from the National Institute on Aging to the University of Minnesota (J.E. Gaugler, PI). The authors thank Kari Johnson for her training expertise, Gary Havey of Advanced Medical Electronics for his assistance, and Dr. Robert Woods for his consultation. The authors also thank the residents, family members, and staff of Martin Luther Care Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, for their gracious contribution of time. Address correspondence to Joseph E. Gaugler, PhD, Professor, School of Nursing, Center on Aging, University of Minnesota, 6-153 Weaver-Densford Hall, 308 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-1331; e-mail: Received: August 31, 2015 Accepted: November 5, 2015 doi:10.3928/00989134-20160201-04

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