Congratulations to Xin Yao Lin of Brandeis University for leading this study! This paper evaluated a social exergame for caregivers of loved ones with dementia. I led the Go&Grow app development using the Android and Fitbit API.
Go&Grow: An Evaluation of a Pervasive Social Exergame for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia (PDF)
Caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) experience higher rates of stress, social isolation, and poor mental and physical health compared to non-caregiving populations. There is a vital need for engaging, sustainable, and scalable resources to support social, physical, and emotional wellbeing amongst caregivers of PWD. To explore this open design space, we designed and conducted a 6-week mixed-method evaluation of Go&Grow, a pervasive social exergame in which flowers grow as users increase physical activity and interact with other caregivers of PWD. Our findings showed that using Go&Grow helped participants relieve stress, increase physical activity, and develop empathy for and patience towards the loved one with dementia that they cared for. At the same time, tension arose as some caregivers desired to learn about the life challenges that Go&Grow
users faced, while others hesitated to share such content. We discuss our findings and recommendations for future technology that promotes caregivers’ time for themselves, understanding of PWD, and connections with other caregivers.
Xin Yao Lin, Herman Saksono, Elizabeth Stowell, Margie Lachman, Carmen Castaneda-Sceppa, Andrea G. Parker. 2020. Go&Grow: An Evaluation of a Pervasive Social Exergame for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia. In Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 4, CSCW 2, Article 151 (October 2020).