Mindings has won numerous innovation and care awards, and has undergone two formal clinical trials.
The first trial, undertaken by an MSc student in 2011, tested memory and mood in recovering brain-injured adults in a hospital setting. The study revealed that Mindings had a clear psycho-social effect on the user, with insight, mood and communication all improved. It concluded that Mindings could be adopted as a therapeutic intervention for brain injured adults.
The second trial, undertaken by the EELGA between 2013 and 2014, demonstrated that 38% of participants report a positive impact on quality of life and 43% an impact on happiness – when content was received regularly.
1. Memory and Memories: An exploratory mixed method case series study with brain injured adults and their relatives, using PhotoFrame Therapy a dual intervention tool
Abigail Harding. Faculty of Health and Social Care London South Bank University. 2010-2012
In Brain Injury rehabilitation memory is a crucial component in a person’s participation in occupation. New technologies can support a brain injured patient with memory deficits. Stuart Arnott had designed some software to keep in touch, through an android device, with his father, who has memory problems. It was apparent that this tool may have an effect with brain injured adults.
PhotoFrame Therapy, a dual intervention tool, was developed. Using a mixed methods, a nine week ABA quasi-experimental study design was used with five participants. Internet-enabled photo frames were used to display photographs and information. In the second intervention relatives were employed as co-therapists in Memory Sessions to assess patients’ memory domains using outcome measures that were developed for the purpose. RBMT II was used as a standardised outcome measure. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore patients and relatives experience. The results from the memory tests were inconclusive, but there was a clear psycho-social effect. Insight, mood and communication all improved, and adjustment to post-brain injury circumstances was apparent. Overall, there was a therapeutic effect on patients and relatives.
Social isolation is a common consequence of brain injury and can be linked to poor cognitive ability. Improving social function of the patient by involving relatives at the core of their rehabilitation could reduce adjustment times and produce a better overall outcome in a patient’s participation in occupation. PhotoFrame Therapy could be adopted as a therapeutic intervention for brain injured adults.
Mindings provided a focus for discussion between patient and relative; stimulated memories and conversation; gave the patient something to look forward to each day; improved family connections and involvement.
The use of a Mindings used in conjunction with weekly memory sessions improves some areas of memory function in brain injured adults. Relatives experiences of being involved in rehabilitation and being able to share the experience of photographs past and present has a beneficial outcome on communication, understanding and well-being. The use of Mindings in memory rehabilitation warrants further research.
2. EELGA Mindings Pilot Study
Dr Clare Beddoes & Rosemary Wilson, Health Enterprise East. 2014
Executive Summary (Abridged)
In December 2012, EELGA ran a competition for adaptive technologies. The competition aimed to stimulate innovative design and development which could be capable of helping to reduce and manage demand for institutional care for older people. Mindings was selected as the best product for further development and investment, in light of the objectives of EELGA.
Mindings has developed a mobile service enabling multiple people to send captioned pictures and messages via text and email to an individual. Described as ‘Facebook for the technology shy’, Mindings is an App operating via the internet on ‘tablet’ devices and is aimed towards socially isolated members of the community.
East of England LGA (EELGA) ran two pilot studies (trials one and two) to test the ‘Mindings’ product between April 2013 and February 2014. Health Enterprise East (HEE) was selected by EELGA to assist with the research methodology and evaluation of the second pilot study (trial two). Questionnaire design, face-to-face interviews, data analysis and report preparation were carried out by HEE on behalf of EELGA and Mindings.
Trial two was an exploratory pilot study and focused – at a high level – on whether Mindings is able to reduce social isolation, increase actual social contact, impact emotional well-being and assist in the management of personal care. Twenty-nine participants on trial two were each provided with a tablet device that was ‘locked’ to the Mindings App for a trial period of eight weeks and were interviewed by HEE both pre- and post-trial.
The effect of the Mindings product on participants has been assessed based on both quantitative (adapted from the WHO Quality of Life questionnaire and the Geriatric Depression Scale questionnaire) and qualitative information (derived from discursive based questioning).
Key questions have been considered, regarding the impact Mindings had on the health and well-being of participants, namely did Mindings:
Improve quality of life?
- 38% of participants did report an impact on quality of life
- Three quarters of those reporting an impact were receiving content >weekly
Improve emotional well-being?
- 43% of participants did agree Mindings had an impact on their happiness – noting they were happy to see photos of family
- Eight out of the nine participants reporting an impact on happiness were receiving content >weekly
Tackle social isolation/loneliness? Allow participants to form new friendships?
- Some people report a perception of improved access to information about family, helping them to feel more ‘in the loop
Help build and strengthen relationships? Allow participants to communicate with friends & family?
- Frequency with which participants communicated with family and friends remained largely unchanged, but participants did enjoy seeing photos, they may otherwise not have seen
81%, of participants reported a very positive reaction to having technology, such as an iPad, made available to them – beyond the Mindings product itself.
There is evidence that participating in the trial has ‘demystified’ technology, by introducing it in a ‘gentle’ way and helped people to recognise the potential that learning to use technology has for their lives. This highlights the benefits of some assistive technologies.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Whilst all participants enjoyed seeing the photos and messages they received, only participants receiving content almost daily unanimously reported an improvement in both levels of happiness and quality of life. Those receiving content more than weekly were split between reporting improvement and no real improvement. Whilst 38% of participants report a positive impact on quality of life and 43% an impact on happiness, the positive impact of Mindings tails off as the regularity of receipt of content falls.
“We like having it, we keep checking it, it’s quite exciting to see things come through”
Content received daily
“It has made me happy to see the photos”
Content received daily
“I feel more part of the family and more included in their daily lives”
Content received daily
“I feel more in touch with the family and get little ‘snippets’ of info that [my daughter] would probably forget to tell me about when I see her or speak on the phone”
Content received >weekly
“I see more of my great granddaughter than I would have otherwise”
Content received >weekly