Project T is a rapid translational field research project to determine the usability of tablet computers for older adults with depression or mild cognitive impairment.
We wanted to understand whether and how older adults in the Eskenazi Aging Brain Care (ABC) program are willing and able to use a simplified tablet interface and along with specific applications (“apps”) and functions such as video call, self-report surveys, and games.
Findings from Project T offer directions for designing mobile technologies to support professional, informal, and self-care among older adults with mental health needs.
Design of the Intervention
We recruited patients and informal caregivers age 65-80 from primary care or Eskenazi Health ABC program. Researchers conducted usability tests in clinic waiting rooms and patient's home. Tested the tablet and app use with progressive prompting, instruction, and demonstration within subjects conditions. Assessment of speed and accuracy, user response to the tablet, difficulties encountered by users, and usability of specific features was done during the usability test.
- Participants were initially hesitant to use the tablet
- Most performed the tasks with instruction or demonstration, but a few had persistent difficulty
- Users largely liked the idea of tablet video calls with clinicians and family/friends