Background: Caregivers of people with dementia find it extremely difficult to choose the best care method because of complex environments and the variable symptoms of dementia. To alleviate this care burden, interventions have been proposed that use computer- or web-based applications. For example, an automatic diagnosis of the condition can improve the well-being of both the person with dementia and the caregiver. Other interventions support the individual with dementia in living independently. Objective: The aim of this study was to develop an ontology-based care knowledge management system for people with dementia that will provide caregivers with a care guide suited to the environment and to the individual patient's symptoms. This should also enable knowledge sharing among caregivers. Methods: To build the care knowledge model, we reviewed existing ontologies that contain concepts and knowledge descriptions relating to the care of those with dementia, and we considered dementia care manuals. The basic concepts of the care ontology were confirmed by experts in Korea. To infer the different care methods required for the individual dementia patient, the reasoning rules as defined in Semantic Web Rule Languages and Prolog were utilized. The accuracy of the care knowledge in the ontological model and the usability of the proposed system were evaluated by using the Pellet reasoner and OntOlogy Pitfall Scanner!, and a survey and interviews were conducted with caregivers working in care centers in Korea. Results: The care knowledge model contains six top-level concepts: care knowledge, task, assessment, person, environment, and medical knowledge. Based on this ontological model of dementia care, caregivers at a dementia care facility in Korea were able to access the care knowledge easily through a graphical user interface. The evaluation by the care experts showed that the system contained accurate care knowledge and a level of assessment comparable to normal assessment tools. Conclusions: In this study, we developed a care knowledge system that can provide caregivers with care guides suited to individuals with dementia. We anticipate that the system could reduce the workload of caregivers.
- Caregiver for person with dementia
- Knowledge management
- Knowledge model
- Semantic reasoning