Special Issue "Supportive Systems for Active and Healthy Aging"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Digital Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Oscar Ribeiro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Health Technology and Services Research (CINTESIS), Department of Education and Psychology of the University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: active aging; healthy aging; oldest-old; longevity; mental health; informal care
Dr. Anabela Silva
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Center for Health Technology and Services Research (CINTESIS), Superior School of Health Sciences of the University of Aveiro, Aveiro, 3810-193, Portugal
Interests: active aging; pain; functioning; non-pharmacological pain management; usability; mHealth; eHealth
Prof. Dr. Nelson P. Rocha
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering (IEETA), Department of Medical Sciences of the University of Aveiro, Aveiro, 3810-193, Portugal
Interests: active aging; functioning; cognitive training; usability; ambient assisted living; eHealth

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world population is aging in an unprecedented manner and the challenges for improving the lives of older adults, their families, and the communities in which they live are currently a strong political priority. The World Health Organization has recently endorsed the proposal for a ‘Decade for Healthy Ageing’ (2020–2030) that provides a set of priorities ranging from policy creations that enable people to live long and healthy lives, to collecting better global data on healthy aging, aligning the actual needs of older people with the health systems, and ensuring long-term care services that also support caregivers.

Within such a scope, developing supportive systems for older adults by means of digital solutions that are as user-centred and as personalized as possible has been a challenge for researchers from different backgrounds. Remote monitoring or online interventions targeting physical and mental health promotion constitute examples of the use of information and communication technologies aiming to allow older adults with diverse dependency levels to stay at home and remain active for as long as possible.

This Special Issue focuses on research on supportive systems for older adults, including a wide range of topics that focus on the promotion of aging in place solutions within an active and healthy aging approach. Topics of interest include but are not limited to research on digital solutions specifically targeting older adults’ autonomy, independence, health, wellbeing, and social connectedness.

Dr. Oscar Ribeiro
Dr. Anabela Silva
Prof. Dr. Nelson P. Rocha
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

  • Active aging
  • Aging in place
  • Assistive technologies
  • Assistive robotics systems
  • Co-design solutions
  • Digital health solutions
  • eHealth interventions
  • Functioning
  • ICT home-based care
  • Independent and autonomous living
  • Integrated care solutions
  • Needs assessment
  • Smart living environments
  • Social engagement platforms
  • Supportive systems
  • Technology-mediated interventions
  • Wellbeing

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Promoting Reminiscences with Virtual Reality Headsets: A Pilot Study with People with Dementia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9301; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17249301 - 12 Dec 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1181
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the feasibility and effects of promoting reminiscences, using virtual reality (VR) headsets for viewing 360° videos with personal relevance, with people with dementia. A study with a mixed methods design was conducted with nine older adults diagnosed with [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the feasibility and effects of promoting reminiscences, using virtual reality (VR) headsets for viewing 360° videos with personal relevance, with people with dementia. A study with a mixed methods design was conducted with nine older adults diagnosed with dementia. Interventions consisted of four sessions, in which the participants’ engagement, psychological and behavioral symptoms, and simulation sickness symptoms were evaluated. Neuropsychiatric symptomatology and quality of life were measured pre- and post-intervention. Caregivers were interviewed regarding the effect of the approach. In most cases, participants appeared to enjoy the sessions, actively explored the 360° environment, and shared memories associated with the depicted locations, often spontaneously. There were no cases of significant increases in simulator sickness and psychological and behavioral symptoms during sessions, with only some instances of minor eyestrain, fullness of head, anxiety, irritability, and agitation being detected. Although there were no significant changes in the measured outcomes after intervention, the caregivers assessed the experience as potentially beneficial for most participants. In this study, promoting reminiscences with VR headsets was found to be a safe and engaging experience for people with dementia. However, future studies are required to better understand the added value of immersion, using VR, in reminiscence therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supportive Systems for Active and Healthy Aging)

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Methodological Quality of User-Centered Usability Evaluation of Ambient Assisted Living Solutions: A Systematic Literature Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11507; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182111507 - 01 Nov 2021
Viewed by 494
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the methodological quality of user-centered usability evaluation of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) solutions by (i) identifying the characteristics of the AAL studies reporting on user-centered usability evaluation, (ii) systematizing the methods, procedures and instruments being used, and (iii) [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the methodological quality of user-centered usability evaluation of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) solutions by (i) identifying the characteristics of the AAL studies reporting on user-centered usability evaluation, (ii) systematizing the methods, procedures and instruments being used, and (iii) verifying if there is evidence of a common understanding on methods, procedures, and instruments for user-centered usability evaluation. An electronic search was conducted on Web of Science, Scopus, and IEEE Xplore databases, combining relevant keywords. Then, titles and abstracts were screened against inclusion and exclusion criteria, and the full texts of the eligible studies were retrieved and screened for inclusion. A total of 44 studies were included. The results show a great heterogeneity of methods, procedures, and instruments to evaluate the usability of AAL solutions and, in general, the researchers fail to consider and report relevant methodological aspects. Guidelines and instruments to assess the quality of the studies might help improving the experimental design and reporting of studies on user-centered usability evaluation of AAL solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supportive Systems for Active and Healthy Aging)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: "Online Interventions Aimed at Supporting Informal Dementia Caregivers: A Methodological Systematic Review"

Authors: Soraia Teles, et al.
Affiliation: Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal

2. Title: "Integrated Care and Ehealth: Needs, Solutions, Governance and Future Challenges"
Authors: Pedro Rocha, et al.
Affiliation: ICBAS- Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, Universidade do Porto, Portugal

3. Title: "Interface Design Guidelines for Digital Solutions Relevant for Older Adults"
Authors: Ceci da Costa Diehl, et al.
Affiliation: University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

4. Title: "Phyxio: A System for Physical Activity"

Authors: Rubén Cantarero Navarro, et al.

Affiliation: Department of Information Technologies and Systems, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Spain

5. Title: "A Low-Cost and Unobtrusive System for Gait Disturbances"
Authors: Jesús Fernandez-Bermejo, et al.
Affiliation: Department of Information Systems and Technologies, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Spain

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