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Special Issue "Quality of Life: The Interplay between Human Behaviour, Technology and the Environment"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Joost van Hoof
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Research Group Urban Ageing, Centre of Expertise Health innovation, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, 2521 EN Den Haag, The Netherlands
2. Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Geodesy, Department of Spatial Economy, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-375 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: age-friendly cities; urban ageing; technology and housing for older people; gerontechnology; design for dementia; participatory design; architecture for health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Erwin De Vlugt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The Netherlands
Interests: technologies for care and medical services; assistive personal devices; interactive robotics; action research; design thinking; early health technology assessment; geriatric rehabilitation; longevity
Prof. Deirdre M. Beneken genaamd Kolmer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The Netherlands
Interests: family care; quality of life; value-based health care; nursing studies; relationships in health care
Prof. Sanne I. De Vries
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The Netherlands
Interests: activity-friendly urban design; physical activity; motor competence; public health; prevention; intervenion development; co-design; nudging; healthy food choices; youth; and physical activity assessment methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are arranging a Special Issue entitled "Quality of Life: The Interplay between Human Behaviour, Technology and the Environment" which will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by MDPI. The Special Issue is a joint project by the Research Platform Quality of Life: People and Technology of the The Hague University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. Contributions from all over the world, and on the basis of various methodologies, are welcomed.

The main focus of this Special Issue is how people’s quality of life can be enhanced by optimizing the interplay between people, the environment and technology. Contributions should focus on the person or end-user and his or her environment, both the physical, social and digital environment, and on the interaction between people, health (care) and technology. The application domains of the Special Issue are sports and physical activity, nutrition and diet, health, care and rehabilitation. Recent advances in technology offer a wide range of solutions that support the aforementioned domains for a large number of end-users, both patients/clients from –9 months until 100+ years of age, as well as practitioners/physicians.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to publish high-quality research papers as well as review articles addressing recent advances in quality of life research with a focus on end-users and technology, both in the broadest sense of the word. Original, high quality contributions that have not yet been published or that are not currently under review by other journals, or from peer-reviewed conferences are welcomed.

We encourage authors to send a short abstract (500 words max.) and a tentative title in advance. When your manuscript is ready for submission, we ask that you submit via the online portal https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/journal/ijerph/special_issues/Quality_Life.

All submitted manuscripts will be processed through a fast peer review process.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Prof. Joost van Hoof
Prof. Erwin de Vlugt
Prof. Deirdre M. Beneken genaamd Kolmer
Prof. Sanne I. de Vries
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Assistive technologies
  • Physical environment/space
  • Telehealth and telecare
  • Community care
  • Family care
  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition
  • Rehabilitation
  • Care robotics
  • Co-design/production

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Quality of Life: The Interplay between Human Behaviour, Technology and the Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 5106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16245106 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
Quality of life is an umbrella term for the quality of the various domains in life [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Friends or Frenemies? The Role of Social Technology in the Lives of Older People
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4969; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244969 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2032
Abstract
By having a healthy and happy social life, social needs are fulfilled. When social needs are not fulfilled, loneliness and social isolation can occur, which have negative consequences for one’s physical and mental health. Social technology, technology that enables social interaction, can be [...] Read more.
By having a healthy and happy social life, social needs are fulfilled. When social needs are not fulfilled, loneliness and social isolation can occur, which have negative consequences for one’s physical and mental health. Social technology, technology that enables social interaction, can be a resource to fulfil the social needs of older people. In this study, we aimed to learn what role social technology plays in the social life of older people. We held 15 interviews with people aged over 70 who regularly use some form of social technology. Our results indicate that social technology plays different roles in the lives of older people. It strengthens the existing social relationships and social structures. It also brings depth and fun to the social contacts of older people and in this way, enriches their social lives. Social technology also gives a sense of safety and peace of mind to the older people themselves but also to their network members. However, there are barriers in the use of social technology. The older people struggled with using social technology and feel that social technology sometimes stands in the way of real human contact. In supporting and facilitating people’s relationship with others, a community and society, technology helps fulfil older people’s need for connectedness, meaningfulness and independence. However, the relationship with independence is ambiguous. Their life experience gives older people a thoughtful way of looking at social technology and the role it plays in their lives. Full article
Article
Technology Acceptance and Quality of Life among Older People Using a TUI Application
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4706; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16234706 - 26 Nov 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
Good quality of life is important for healthy ageing. Studies have shown that although information and communication technology can improve older people’s quality of life, their technology acceptance level is rather low. Tangible user interfaces (TUIs) enable people to interact with the digital [...] Read more.
Good quality of life is important for healthy ageing. Studies have shown that although information and communication technology can improve older people’s quality of life, their technology acceptance level is rather low. Tangible user interfaces (TUIs) enable people to interact with the digital world through everyday physical objects, thus offering more intuitive digital environments for older people. In this study, we employ a TUI prototype to investigate the relationship between older people’s technology acceptance and quality of life, the changes in these outcome measures after using TUI, and the associations between them. The TUI prototype, Tangible Cup was used by 20 older participants over a period of three months. Data were collected using the technology acceptance model (TAM) questionnaire, the older people’s quality of life (OPQOL) questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The results showed some positive changes in technology acceptance after the use of Tangible Cup. However, no change in the quality of life was found. While statistically significant correlations between the change in technology acceptance and the change in quality of life were observed, limitations such as small sample size and participants not accurately representing the target population should be noted. Thus, further research is needed to better understand the associations between the change in technology acceptance and the change in quality of life. Full article
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Article
“Who Doesn’t Think about Technology When Designing Urban Environments for Older People?” A Case Study Approach to a Proposed Extension of the WHO’s Age-Friendly Cities Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3525; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16193525 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 4915
Abstract
The World Health Organization (WHO) strives to assist and inspire cities to become more “age-friendly”, and the fundamentals are included in the Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide. An age-friendly city enables residents to grow older actively within their families, neighbourhoods and civil society, and [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization (WHO) strives to assist and inspire cities to become more “age-friendly”, and the fundamentals are included in the Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide. An age-friendly city enables residents to grow older actively within their families, neighbourhoods and civil society, and offers extensive opportunities for the participation of older people in the community. Over the decades, technology has become essential for contemporary and future societies, and even more imperative as the decades move on, given we are nearly in our third decade of the twenty-first century. Yet, technology is not explicitly considered in the 8-domain model by the WHO, which describes an age-friendly city. This paper discusses the gaps in the WHO’s age-friendly cities model in the field of technology and provides insights and recommendations for expansion of the model for application in the context of countries with a high human development index that wish to be fully age-friendly. This work is distinctive because of the proposed new age-friendly framework, and the work presented in this paper contributes to the fields of gerontology, geography urban and development, computer science, and gerontechnology. Full article
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Article
Wood and Its Impact on Humans and Environment Quality in Health Care Facilities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3496; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16183496 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2411
Abstract
The paper presents the application of natural materials, especially wood, which are relevant for human well-being in built environments of health, social, and day care facilities. These properties were tested by a complex methodology in a case study in the wooden waiting room [...] Read more.
The paper presents the application of natural materials, especially wood, which are relevant for human well-being in built environments of health, social, and day care facilities. These properties were tested by a complex methodology in a case study in the wooden waiting room at National Oncology Institute in Bratislava. In this space, experimental tests of physiological responses were further executed on 50 volunteers moving in the waiting room for 20 min. In this article, the EEG (electroencephalograph) (four persons) and emotions from the faces of all our volunteers before entering and after a stay in a wooden waiting room were recorded. Specifically, the ECG (electrocardiograph), heart rate (HR), and respiration activity were measured by using our own designed ECG holter (40 persons), and also blood pressure and cortisol levels were observed. The usage of wooden materials verifies their regenerative and positive impact on the human nervous system, through the appealing aesthetics (color, texture, and structures), high contact comfort, pleasant smell, possibility to regulate air humidity, volatile organic compound emissions (VOC-emissions), and acoustic well-being in the space. Full article
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Article
Frail Older Persons’ Experiences of Information and Participation in Hospital Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2829; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16162829 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to describe frail older persons’ experiences of hospital care of information and participation when being an inpatient at a hospital. A qualitative method was used. Data were collected at the hospital from 20 interviews with frail older [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to describe frail older persons’ experiences of hospital care of information and participation when being an inpatient at a hospital. A qualitative method was used. Data were collected at the hospital from 20 interviews with frail older patients, together with observations in the environment at the hospital ward. A content analysis was performed. Patients experienced not receiving information about their care and rehabilitation, or receiving such information in noisy surroundings. They experienced situations of misunderstanding related to their medication, which indicates the need for appropriate discharge calls for frail older patients. They expressed feelings of distress concerning the future, caused by hasty admissions or relatives’ problems to handle the situation. The results highlight the need to receive appropriate information and to participate in decision-making. The level of health literacy should be taken notice of when giving information, using peaceful and quiet environments when informing frail older persons. Person-centered care should be recognized to a greater extent in order for healthcare professionals to give information to frail older people in a health literacy-friendly way. This might make it easier for frail older persons to participate in a partnership in care. Full article
Article
Technology-Based Motivation Support for Seniors’ Physical Activity—A Qualitative Study on Seniors’ and Health Care Professionals’ Views
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2418; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16132418 - 08 Jul 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1665
Abstract
This paper investigates seniors’ and health care professionals’ (HCPs) perceptions on needed contributions and qualities of digital technology-based motivation support for seniors’ physical activity (PA). Seniors and HCPs expressed their views in focus groups, which were analyzed separately by inductive content analysis. Similarities [...] Read more.
This paper investigates seniors’ and health care professionals’ (HCPs) perceptions on needed contributions and qualities of digital technology-based motivation support for seniors’ physical activity (PA). Seniors and HCPs expressed their views in focus groups, which were analyzed separately by inductive content analysis. Similarities and differences in seniors’ and HCPs’ views were identified through thematic analysis of qualitative results from both focus groups. This article’s main findings are that both seniors and HCPs believed digital technology should support and make PA more enjoyable in ways to strengthen seniors’ control and well-being. However, seniors emphasized support for social interaction, while HCPs also requested support for increasing seniors’ insight into PA and for facilitating their dialogue with seniors. Conclusions to be drawn are that seniors and HPCs shared overall views on digital technology’s main contributions but had different perspectives on how those contributions could be obtained. This highlights the importance of the early identification of user groups and exploration of their different needs when developing new solutions. Moreover, seniors’ and HCPs’ perceptions included aspects relevant for personal motivation, technology acceptance, and PA behavioral change according to self-determination theory, unified theory of acceptance and use of technology, and behavioral change techniques for increasing PA. Full article
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Article
Challenges in Using IT Systems for Collaboration in Healthcare Services
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1773; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16101773 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
Frail elderly people refer to multi-diseased and vulnerable patients in need of medication and healthcare. These patients require healthcare from several different healthcare organizations, including hospital care, primary care, and municipal care services. This situation is challenging the capacity of healthcare organizations to [...] Read more.
Frail elderly people refer to multi-diseased and vulnerable patients in need of medication and healthcare. These patients require healthcare from several different healthcare organizations, including hospital care, primary care, and municipal care services. This situation is challenging the capacity of healthcare organizations to manage inter-professional collaboration for person-centered care. This paper aims to identify challenges associated with collaboration between different healthcare organizations, related to the use of IT systems in the daily work practice. The paper was based on a qualitative study, which included three focus group interviews, each lasting for two hours. Each focus group consisted of a hospital physician, a primary care physician, a hospital nurse, a primary care nurse, a municipal home care nurse or an assistant officer, a physical or occupational therapist, and a family member representative. The interviews were analyzed with thematic analysis. Challenges identified in the study include insufficient information exchange, inconsistencies in communication, differences in the use of IT systems, and deficient coordination. The work processes that aim to promote collaboration between different healthcare organizations need to be better organized, and the use of IT systems needs to be better aligned. Full article
Article
Hope and Technology: Other-Oriented Hope Related to Eye Gaze Technology for Children with Severe Disabilities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1667; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16101667 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
Introducing advanced assistive technology such as eye gaze controlled computers can improve a person’s quality of life and awaken hope for a child’s future inclusion and opportunities in society. This article explores the meanings of parents’ and teachers’ other-oriented hope related to eye [...] Read more.
Introducing advanced assistive technology such as eye gaze controlled computers can improve a person’s quality of life and awaken hope for a child’s future inclusion and opportunities in society. This article explores the meanings of parents’ and teachers’ other-oriented hope related to eye gaze technology for children with severe disabilities. A secondary analysis of six parents’ and five teachers’ interview transcripts was conducted in accordance with a phenomenological-hermeneutic research method. The eye gaze controlled computer creates new imaginations of a brighter future for the child, but also becomes a source for motivation and action in the present. The other-oriented hope occurs not just in the future; it is already there in the present and opens up new alternatives and possibilities to overcome the difficulties the child is encountering today. Both the present situation and the hope for the future influence each other, and both affect the motivation for using the technology. This emphasises the importance of clinicians giving people opportunities to express how they see the future and how technology could realise this hope. Full article
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Article
Implementation of 3D Printing Technology in the Field of Prosthetics: Past, Present, and Future
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1641; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16091641 - 10 May 2019
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 5479
Abstract
There is an interesting and long history of prostheses designed for those with upper-limb difference, and yet issues still persist that have not yet been solved. Prosthesis needs for children are particularly complex, due in part to their growth rates. Access to a [...] Read more.
There is an interesting and long history of prostheses designed for those with upper-limb difference, and yet issues still persist that have not yet been solved. Prosthesis needs for children are particularly complex, due in part to their growth rates. Access to a device can have a significant impact on a child’s psychosocial development. Often, devices supporting both cosmetic form and user function are not accessible to children due to high costs, insurance policies, medical availability, and their perceived durability and complexity of control. These challenges have encouraged a grassroots effort globally to offer a viable solution for the millions of people living with limb difference around the world. The innovative application of 3D printing for customizable and user-specific hardware has led to open-source Do It Yourself “DIY” production of assistive devices, having an incredible impact globally for families with little recourse. This paper examines new research and development of prostheses by the maker community and nonprofit organizations, as well as a novel case study exploring the development of technology and the training methods available. These design efforts are discussed further in the context of the medical regulatory framework in the United States and highlight new associated clinical studies designed to measure the quality of life impact of such devices. Full article
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Article
Predictors of Seniors’ Interest in Assistive Applications on Smartphones: Evidence from a Population-Based Survey in Slovenia
by , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1623; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16091623 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1726
Abstract
Assistive applications (apps) on smartphones could contribute to a better quality of life for seniors living independently at home. At present, there is a lack of empirical evidence of seniors’ acceptance of such apps. The Cycle of Technology Acquirement by Independent-Living Seniors (C-TAILS) [...] Read more.
Assistive applications (apps) on smartphones could contribute to a better quality of life for seniors living independently at home. At present, there is a lack of empirical evidence of seniors’ acceptance of such apps. The Cycle of Technology Acquirement by Independent-Living Seniors (C-TAILS) model was recently proposed for studying the interplay between acceptance factors by integrating the personal, social and technological domains of seniors’ daily lives. This study aimed to explore how four groups of factors, clustered in accordance with the C-TAILS model, predict seniors’ interest in assistive apps, on a representative sample of the Slovenian population aged 55 years or older. The 617 respondents, who were contacted though a telephone survey, answered a questionnaire about their interest in three groups of assistive apps and four groups of potentially associated acceptance factors. Three linear regression models were used to analyse the association between the factors and the seniors’ interest in the three types of assistive apps. Smartphone-related dispositional traits were the strongest predictors across all three models. Among mobile phone usage patterns, smartphone use and the breadth of mobile phone features used were significant factors, while the significance of seniors’ personal characteristics and socio-economic conditions varied across the models. Hence, awareness that these factors play different roles in the acceptance of different assistive apps is needed in order to design viable interventions for their acceptance among seniors. Full article
Article
The Best Day of the Week: New Technology Enhancing Quality of Life in a Care Home
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1000; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16061000 - 19 Mar 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2080
Abstract
Older people living in residential aged care facilities tend to be physically as well as socially inactive, which leads to poorer health and reduced wellbeing. A lack of recognition of the importance of social support, limited resources, lack of training and task-oriented work [...] Read more.
Older people living in residential aged care facilities tend to be physically as well as socially inactive, which leads to poorer health and reduced wellbeing. A lack of recognition of the importance of social support, limited resources, lack of training and task-oriented work routines leave little time for staff to meet the social needs of residents. Through qualitative ethnographic fieldwork, this study investigates the potential for new technologies to enhance quality of life and facilitate meaningful engagement in physical and social activities among culturally and linguistically diverse residents and staff in care facilities. A continuum from nonparticipation to full participation among residents was observed when Touch Screen Technology activities were implemented. Data indicate that resident’s engagement is impacted by five interdependent factors, including environmental, organisational, caregiver, patient, and management- &government-related. Findings show that new technologies can be used to increase meaningful physical and social engagement, including transcending language and cultural barriers. However, the successful application of new technologies to enhance quality of life is dependent on their integration into the daily routine and social relationships of staff and residents, with the full support of management. Guidelines governing the use of new technologies to support meaningful engagement of older people in residential care are lacking: this project highlights the importance of attention to the social relational dimensions of technology interventions to support best practice in their use. Full article
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Article
The Living Environment and Thermal Behaviours of Older South Australians: A Multi-Focus Group Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 935; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16060935 - 15 Mar 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
Ageing brings about physiological changes that affect people’s thermal sensitivity and thermoregulation. The majority of older Australians prefer to age in place and modifications to the home environment are often required to accommodate the occupants as they age and possibly become frail. However, [...] Read more.
Ageing brings about physiological changes that affect people’s thermal sensitivity and thermoregulation. The majority of older Australians prefer to age in place and modifications to the home environment are often required to accommodate the occupants as they age and possibly become frail. However, modifications to aid thermal comfort are not always considered. Using a qualitative approach this study aims to understand the thermal qualities of the existing living environment of older South Australians, their strategies for keeping cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather and to identify existing problems related to planning and house design, and the use of heating and cooling. Data were gathered via seven focus group sessions with 49 older people living in three climate zones in South Australia. The sessions yielded four main themes, namely ‘personal factors’, ‘feeling’, ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’. These themes can be used as a basis to develop information and guidelines for older people in dealing with hot and cold weather. Full article
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Article
Understanding User Practices When Drawing up Requirements—The Case of Designing Assistive Devices for Mobility
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 318; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16030318 - 24 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1421
Abstract
Patients with orthopedic problems often use assistive devices, e.g., ankle-foot orthoses and therapeutic footwear, to support their mobility. However, many users are not satisfied with their devices or do not use them at all, resulting in a decrease of quality of life. It [...] Read more.
Patients with orthopedic problems often use assistive devices, e.g., ankle-foot orthoses and therapeutic footwear, to support their mobility. However, many users are not satisfied with their devices or do not use them at all, resulting in a decrease of quality of life. It has been shown that a main cause for dissatisfaction and non-use lies in the process of drawing up requirements. It appears that orthopedic engineers have too little insight in the different areas of life of patients leading to deficient design requirements. In this article a general approach—the so-called Triple I model—is presented to understand the different areas of life of patients. This model offers, in line with and directed by the intention of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model three perspectives or ‘pairs of lenses’ to analyze these areas of life: the identity, the interests of key stakeholders or social actors, and the underlying societal ideals. The Triple I model is elaborated for assistive devices and offers an associated methodology to orthopedic engineers to systematically map the different areas of life of patients, to understand the requirements for every area, and to explore the conditions. In case of assistive devices five different areas of life have to be investigated: daily living at home, work, transport, social and spiritual activities, sport and leisure. Full article
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Article
Museum Moving to Inpatients: Le Louvre à l’Hôpital
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 206; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16020206 - 13 Jan 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1554
Abstract
Anxiety and depressive symptoms are common in hospitalized patients. Arts and cultural programs were reported to enhance their quality of life. The Le Louvre à l’hôpital study presents a new approach in which the museum moves to the hospital by displaying and discussing [...] Read more.
Anxiety and depressive symptoms are common in hospitalized patients. Arts and cultural programs were reported to enhance their quality of life. The Le Louvre à l’hôpital study presents a new approach in which the museum moves to the hospital by displaying and discussing artworks with patients interactively. Over one year, four large statues were disposed in the hospital gardens, 30 reprints of large painting were exhibited in the hospital hall, dining rooms, and circulations areas. A total of 83 small-group guided art discussions (90 min) were organized, which 451 patients attended. The 200 small-size reproductions of paintings placed in the patients’ rooms were chosen based on their individual preferences. Decreased anxiety after the art sessions was reported by 160 of 201 patients (79.6%). Out of 451 patients, 406 (90%) said the art program had met their expectations, and 372 (82.4%) wished to continue the experience with caregivers (162 paramedics trained for art activity during 66 workshops). In conclusion, moving the museum to the hospital constitutes a valuable way to provide art activities for inpatients in large numbers, which may reduce hospital-related anxiety in many instances. Full article
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Other

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Concept Paper
Senior Co-Housing in the Netherlands: Benefits and Drawbacks for Its Residents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3776; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16193776 - 08 Oct 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2046
Abstract
Senior co-housing communities offer an in-between solution for older people who do not want to live in an institutional setting but prefer the company of their age peers. Residents of co-housing communities live in their own apartments but undertake activities together and support [...] Read more.
Senior co-housing communities offer an in-between solution for older people who do not want to live in an institutional setting but prefer the company of their age peers. Residents of co-housing communities live in their own apartments but undertake activities together and support one another. This paper adds to the literature by scrutinizing the benefits and drawbacks of senior co-housing, with special focus on the forms and limits of social support and the implications for the experience of loneliness. Qualitative fieldwork was conducted in eight co-housing communities in the Netherlands, consisting of document analysis, interviews, focus groups, and observations. The research shows that co-housing communities offer social contacts, social control, and instrumental and emotional support. Residents set boundaries regarding the frequency and intensity of support. The provided support partly relieves residents’ adult children from caregiving duties but does not substitute formal and informal care. Due to their access to contacts and support, few residents experience social loneliness. Co-housing communities can potentially also alleviate emotional loneliness, but currently, this happens to a limited degree. The paper concludes with practical recommendations for enhancing the benefits and reducing the drawbacks of senior co-housing. Full article
Opinion
Inclusion of Older Adults in the Research and Design of Digital Technology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3718; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16193718 - 02 Oct 2019
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3492
Abstract
Digital technology holds a promise to improve older adults’ well-being and promote ageing in place. However, there seems to be a discrepancy between digital technologies that are developed and what older adults actually want and need. Ageing is stereotypically framed as a problem [...] Read more.
Digital technology holds a promise to improve older adults’ well-being and promote ageing in place. However, there seems to be a discrepancy between digital technologies that are developed and what older adults actually want and need. Ageing is stereotypically framed as a problem needed to be fixed, and older adults are considered to be frail and incompetent. Not surprisingly, many of the technologies developed for the use of older adults focus on care. The exclusion of older adults from the research and design of digital technology is often based on such negative stereotypes. In this opinion article, we argue that the inclusion rather than exclusion of older adults in the design process and research of digital technology is essential if technology is to fulfill the promise of improving well-being. We emphasize why this is important while also providing guidelines, evidence from the literature, and examples on how to do so. We unequivocally state that designers and researchers should make every effort to ensure the involvement of older adults in the design process and research of digital technology. Based on this paper, we suggest that ageism in the design process of digital technology might play a role as a possible barrier of adopting technology. Full article
Project Report
Utilization of a Mobile Dental Vehicle for Oral Healthcare in Rural Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1234; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16071234 - 07 Apr 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2097
Abstract
Oral diseases remain one of the major global public health challenges, and the worldwide urban–rural disparities in oral health are significant. Residents in rural areas generally suffer from a higher prevalence and severity of dental caries and periodontal disease, yet they face numerous [...] Read more.
Oral diseases remain one of the major global public health challenges, and the worldwide urban–rural disparities in oral health are significant. Residents in rural areas generally suffer from a higher prevalence and severity of dental caries and periodontal disease, yet they face numerous difficulties and barriers in accessing oral healthcare. Conventional strategies, such as building of dental clinics or, hospitals, or the provision of outreach services by using disposable materials, are neither practical nor effective in rural settings. Mobile dental vehicles (MDVs) have been proposed as an alternative strategy to supplement the traditional oral healthcare in many regions. They have usually been utilized in school-based oral health programs, providing dental care to the homeless or migrants, and screening programs for the population for various oral diseases. Due to their high mobility, MDVs are particularly valuable for the underserved populations living in rural areas. The advance of dental devices enables MDVs to be operated in a self-sufficient manner. This allows the MDV to function almost as well as a conventional dental clinic, providing a variety of dental treatments, including scaling, restoration, and oral surgery. This article discusses the use of MDVs as a solution to urban–rural inequality in receiving oral healthcare. Full article
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The Challenges of Urban Ageing: Making Cities Age-Friendly in Europe
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2473; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15112473 - 05 Nov 2018
Cited by 60 | Viewed by 6576
Abstract
Urban ageing is an emerging domain that deals with the population of older people living in cities. The ageing of society is a positive yet challenging phenomenon, as population ageing and urbanisation are the culmination of successful human development. One could argue whether [...] Read more.
Urban ageing is an emerging domain that deals with the population of older people living in cities. The ageing of society is a positive yet challenging phenomenon, as population ageing and urbanisation are the culmination of successful human development. One could argue whether the city environment is an ideal place for people to grow old and live at an old age compared to rural areas. This viewpoint article explores and describes the challenges that are encountered when making cities age-friendly in Europe. Such challenges include the creation of inclusive neighbourhoods and the implementation of technology for ageing-in-place. Examples from projects in two age-friendly cities in The Netherlands (The Hague) and Poland (Cracow) are shown to illustrate the potential of making cities more tuned to the needs of older people and identify important challenges for the next couple of years. Overall, the global ageing of urban populations calls for more age-friendly approaches to be implemented in our cities. It is a challenge to prepare for these developments in such a way that both current and future generations of older people can benefit from age-friendly strategies. Full article
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