"There are no secrets here!": professional stakeholders' views on the use of GPS for tracking dementia patients

  • Dahl Y
  • Holbø K
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This paper investigates the attitudes of professional stakeholders involved in dementia care to GPS tracking of dementia patients. Data were gathered via focus groups that met in the context of a field experiment in which patients' spatial activities were tracked using GPS. Four main topics emerged: (1) different perspectives on the purpose of the measure; (2) privacy concerns and underlying premises for employing GPS technology in professional care, including; (3) knowledge about patients; and (4) routines for use. Our findings highlight the need to consider carefully which aspects of dementia patients' movements a GPS tracking system should provide to care workers, and how positioning information should be presented. We found that the level of detail required is intimately linked to the purpose of use. Positioning data that were regarded as being irrelevant for the immediate situation could be perceived as violations of patient privacy and damaging for the system's efficiency.

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  • Yngve Dahl

  • Kristine Holbø

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