An Evaluation of Sensor Technology Reliability and Plausibility of its use in Private Care Homes for Incontinence Management

  • Nadia Nair

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Some people with experience of dementia, who may lack the cognitive function to respond to incontinence, may need more frequent care from carers, and in some cases this can be described as the carer’s ‘burden’. Although there have been numerous studies that have addressed the management of incontinence in people with dementia through the approach to traditional techniques in care, the potential use of technology while acknowledged, is not yet prevalent in care homes. The application of sensor technology utilisation in the monitoring of urinary incontinence in care homes is not routinely practised due to the preference of traditional approaches to care. The findings from the questionnaire administered in the care homes was used to determine the constraints that will affect the design of a final device and inform the design process, taking into account the carer’s perspective of the potential to
    monitor changes due the occurrence of incontinence. It was found that the effect of changes in sensor output with prolonged use, in terms of accuracy and reliability, could be minimised by calibration. This thesis posits that the current methods of assessing for incontinence in patients with dementia in care homes are neither uniform nor adequate and the current system cannot support a route back to continence although it may assist in management. The conclusion has the caveat that technological feasibility in this area might be less capable than the beliefs held by the care workers. The next step would be to develop a prototype and investigate the application of sensor technology for long term effects of sitting or lying with respect to humidity from sweating and incontinence.
    Date of AwardMay 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorPeter McCarthy (Supervisor), Ralf Patz (Supervisor) & Andrew Heusch (Supervisor)

    Cite this