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Actigraph Research Project with St. Joseph’s Health Care

St. Joseph's Hospital


September 4, 2015

Announcement of Actigraph Research Project with St. Joseph’s Health Care


A study of the physical movements of people with dementia may assist in predicting the onset of agitated behavioural responses and enable caregiver s to proactively redirect or reduce such behaviours.


In keeping with the WCA’s goal to be a leader in innovative dementia care, exploring new ways to provide care and support is an integral part of this effort. This exploration involves collaborating in research activity and working with our community partners to discover how we can enhance the lives of those who are facing the challenges of living with dementia.

The results from this study will enhance understanding of the ability to predict and redirect agitated behaviours in people with dementia before they happen, enabling caregivers to respond more promptly and proactively.


Participants in the study will be asked to wear an “actigraph,” a portable electronic sensor, to monitor their regular daily activity for a 24-hour period for between one and seven days.

The results of the electronic measuring device will then be compared with results of brief intervals when a research team member manually records participant movement to ensure accuracy. The study will also involve a search for any identifying patterns that lead up to an agitated or aggressive behavioural response.

The study is expected to last between three and six months and will take place in the fall of 2015 and is being led by Dr. Amer Burhan of St. Joseph’s Health Care and Dr. Dallas Seitz of Queen’s University.

The study will review the physical movements of 10 individuals aged 65 or older who live in long-term care and who have a diagnosis of Alzheimer disease or a related form of dementia.

Participation is voluntary and confidentiality is being strictly maintained.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Crawford, CEO, WCA, at 432-2648 ext. 2319, or by e-mail at