Shall I compare thee…to a robot? An exploratory pilot study using participatory arts and social robotics to improve psychological well-being in later life

Noelle Fields, Ling Xu, Julienne Greer, Erin Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research suggests that the use of creative, artistic activities in later life may positively impact the psychological well-being of older adults. Social robots have been utilized in research with older adults, however, few studies have integrated participatory arts (e.g. theatre) into social robotic platforms for the purpose of implementing a psychosocial intervention with this population. An interdisciplinary team designed and delivered an intervention integrating theatre and social robotics with the aim of improving the psychological well-being of study participants both with and without cognitive impairment who live in a residential care setting. A purposive sample of older adults age 65 and older (N = 15) participated in this 3-session pilot study that involved a Shakespeare participatory art activity using the robot, NAO. Pre and post tests were conducted before and after each session with measures of depression, loneliness, and a simplified face scale for mood were asked. Results from Repeated Measurement Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) showed that depression, loneliness and face scores had significantly decrease across six time periods and these declines differed between people with dementia and those without dementia. In addition, only significant changes of depression before and after the intervention were found between persons with and without dementia. We discuss the promising aspects of using social robotics as a platform for participatory arts interventions with older adults and offer lessons learned from the use of innovative technology in residential care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-584
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • human-robot interaction
  • interdisciplinary
  • participatory arts
  • psychological well-being
  • residential care
  • Social robotics
  • theatre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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