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International Journal of Population Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 829835, 13 pages
Review Article

Population Ageing and Socially Assistive Robots for Elderly Persons: The Importance of Sociodemographic Factors for User Acceptance

Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Wohllebengasse 12–14, 1040 Vienna, Austria

Received 2 November 2011; Revised 30 January 2012; Accepted 6 February 2012

Academic Editor: Shirlena Huang

Copyright © 2012 Priska Flandorfer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Taking care of older adults is among the major challenges currently faced by ageing populations. Researchers, designers, and engineers have proposed socially assistive robots as one way of helping elderly people stay in their homes longer. In a systematic literature review, this paper wants to investigate if and how evaluations of the acceptance of socially assistive robots by older people take into account sociodemographic factors. The results indicate that this only holds true for a few studies. Research that incorporates age, gender, education, and so forth; clearly shows that these key factors have a significant impact. However, the relations are complex and experience with technology mitigates the influence of sociodemographic factors on acceptance. Assistive devices should be adaptable to individual needs to be able to consider all these factors.