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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Dec 2023 - 15 Dec 2023


Front Physiol



Rethinking pain communication of patients with Alzheimer’s disease through E-textile interaction design.


Li Y, Bai L, Mao Y, Ren H, Qiao Y, Tong X, Lc R


Older individuals are easily prone to chronic pain. Due to the complexity of chronic pain, most elderly often have difficulty expressing pain to others to seek assistance, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The caregivers cannot instantly discover the patients’ pain condition and provide timely pain management. This project applies physiological signal sensing technology to help AD patients express the presence of pain non-verbally. We embed sensors on patients’ handkerchiefs to identify the patient’s abnormal physical activity when pain occurs. Next, we translate the physiological signal into qualitative light alert to send to caregivers and indicate the pain occurrence condition. Then, utilizing multi-sensory stimulation intervention, we create an electronic textile (e-textile) tool to help caregivers effectively support patients in pain. And thus to create a two-way pain communication between caregivers and the patients. Pain perception can be independent of subjective expressions and tangibly perceived by others through our textile prototype. The e-textile handkerchiefs also bring up a new guide to facilitate communication for caregivers when their patients. We contribute the design insights of building a bio-sensing and e-textile system with considering the pain communication needs, patients’ pain behaviors and preference of objects. Our e-textile system may contribute to pain communication bio-sensing tool design for special elderly groups, especially those with weakened cognition and communication abilities. We provide a new approach to dealing with the pain of AD patients for healthcare professionals.