Attitudes to a robot bathtub in Danish elder care: A hermeneutic interview study

Kirsten Beedholm, Kirsten Frederiksen, Anne-Marie Skovsgaard Frederiksen, Kirsten Lomborg

35 Citations (Scopus)


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 & health sciences
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)280-6
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Computers
  • Baths
  • Denmark
  • Equipment Design
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Hermeneutics
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Robotics
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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