Meet the project partners: KU Leuven

About the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at KU Leuven

Improving quality of life and daily functioning are essential targets in the multidisciplinary treatment of people with dementia. Being physically active is an essential component in order to achieve this. The KU Leuven research group Adapted Physical Activity and Psychomotor Rehabilitation and the University Psychiatry Center KU Leuven in Belgium set up a center of excellence to explore ways to motivate people with mental illness to become more physically active.

The VITAAL research programme of Drs. Nathalie Swinnen (research group Adapted Physical Activity and Psychomotor Rehabilitation and the University Psychiatry Center KU Leuven), Prof. Dr. Davy Vancampfort (research group Adapted Physical Activity and Psychomotor Rehabilitation) and Prof. Dr. Mathieu Vandenbulcke (University Psychiatry Center KU Leuven) will focus on:

  • Engagement and adherence to the newly developed exergame (level of utilization of the technology) by people with dementia.
  • System usability and responsiveness.
  • Perceived utility and awareness, satisfaction and acceptance of the technology for people with dementia.
  • Therapeutic effectiveness of each intervention, through the comparison of the parameters at the beginning and at the end: quality of life, physical performance (walking speed and walking variability), risk of falling, cognitive skills, independence, self-confidence) in people with dementia.
  • Setup/installation burden.

Role in VITAAL

To fulfil users expectations and needs, primary (i.e. people with dementia) and secondary (i.e. physiotherapists) users of the system will be involved in the whole development process. KU Leuven will assist in elaborating the user-centred design and system development within a care setting for people with dementia. A user-centred and iterative design process will be applied to define and validate the game user interface and to guarantee that all aspects of the developed frontend can be easily understood by people with dementia. People with dementia will also have an active participation in the construction of a dataset of movements, which will then be used to develop algorithms for movement analysis. We will test and evaluate the developed prototype in De Wingerd (Leuven, Belgium).

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