Kirsten Frederiksen

Attitudes to a Robot Bathtub in Danish Elder Care: A Hermeneutic Interview Study

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In Western countries, assistive technology is implemented on a large scale in elder care settings. Only a few studies have attempted to explore the different attitudes to assistive technology among various groups of users. In this study, we investigated and explained the different attitudes among the involved leaders, nursing staff, and older people to a newly-implemented robot bathtub. Qualitative analyses of eight interviews with managers, nursing staff, and the older users revealed that the informants focused on different aspects (process, values, and functionality, respectively), used different implicit quality criteria, and ascribed different symbolic significance to the robot bathtub. Thus, the study demonstrated how attitudes toward the robot bathtub were connected to the informants’ institutional role. The findings challenge the current paradigm, where technology is expected to operate as a passive tool, simply facilitating desired human acts and interactions. Further studies drawing on the epistemological and ontological perceptions of science technology studies are needed in order to understand human rationalities in the assistive technology context and to offer new insights into how technology “works” in organizations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing and Health Sciences
Pages (from-to)280-286
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

    Research areas

  • assisted personal body care, assistive technology, attitudes, elder care, implementation, older person, robot bathtub

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