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Keywords:

  • dementia;
  • dementia care;
  • diffusion of innovations;
  • diffusion research;
  • information and communication technology;
  • nursing

Aim  The aim of the present study was to describe staff members’ perceptions of an information and communication technology (ICT) support package during the process of implementation.

Background  ICT in dementia care will likely increase in the future. The diffusion of new innovations can be better understood through diffusion research.

Methods  Fourteen staff members in dementia care were interviewed, in groups, once before the new ICT, twice during its implementation and once after. Data were analysed using qualitative content analyses. The ICT included monitors/alarms: passage alarms, fall detectors, sensor-activated night-time illumination of the lavatory, and communication technology: Internet communication and additional computers.

Results  The results showed two themes ‘Moving from fear of losing control to perceived increase in control and security’ and ‘Struggling with insufficient/deficient systems’.

Conclusions  Staff perceptions of ICT were diverse and changed during the implementation. Benefits were more pronounced than disadvantages, and improvements were described both in care and in staff job situation.

Implications for nursing management  Functioning and use of ICT may relate to design as well as by application and the surrounding structure, and the whole system: the organizational structure, the employers and the new product needs to be taken into consideration when implementing new technology.