General description

BaSeTaLK is a collaborative project of the Catholic University of Applied Sciences Mainz (KH) and the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg (OTH). Project leader at the OTH Regensburg is Prof. Dr. Norina Lauer, Professor of speech and language therapy at the Faculty of Social and Health Sciences and member of the Regensburg Center of Health Sciences and Technology (RCHST). Prof. Dr. Sabine Corsten, Professor of speech and language therapy at the Department of Health Care and Nursing at the Catholic University of Applied Science Mainz (KH Mainz), is responsible for project management and coordination. The aim of the project is the development and evaluation of a tablet-supported measure for biographical work in nursing and senior citizens’ institutions to increase the quality of life and participation of elderly people. Senior citizens in nursing homes should thus be given the opportunity to talk about their life stories. They are supported by volunteers, who use an app developed for BaSeTaLK to guide conversations in groups and individually. The collaborative project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the funding guideline ‘Quality of Life through Social Innovations (FH-Sozial)’ in the programme ‘Research at Universities of Applied Sciences’, topic area ‘Social Innovations for Digital Inclusion’. It will run for a total of three years (2019-2022).

Theoretical background of the project

The BaSeTaLK project aims to expand the market of currently existing prevention services to promote the active participation and quality of life of people in old age and to make use of new possibilities of digitalization. The basis for the research project is the reduced quality of life of people in old age in care and senior citizen facilities. The number of people living in institutional facilities is increasing rapidly. Due to limited mobility and communication, social exchange is often reduced. This can lead to a reduced psychological well-being. Biography work supports adaptation processes, as a review prepared by our working group shows. Memories are activated in biographically oriented conversations. An exchange takes place about telling stories to others, which, as expected, has a positive effect on communication and quality of life. After a successful implementation with the involvement of volunteers, nursing (auxiliary) staff, caregivers, as well as speech and language therapists and occupational therapy staff can be included and trained for the further use and distribution of the offer.

Objectives of BaSeTaLK

BaSeTaLK pursues the following four main objectives:

  • Activation of memory processes, promotion of successful identity work by telling about oneself in exchange with others
  • Increas of communication and quality of life and psychological well-being of people in old age
  • Development and evaluation of a software (app) adapted to the needs of olderly people to stimulate biographical conversations
  • Gain insights into knowledge about how people in old age deal with new media, especially the tablet and the possibilities of digital inclusion

Research design

The procedure is performed as a randomized pre-test-post-test control group design with a follow-up study after 3 months (Fig. 1). Volunteers (V) take part in a preparation workshop on media competence and conversation skills. They lead the interventions accompanied by the BaSeTaLK team. They begin with a three-month group intervention, which is followed by a one-on-one intervention with immobile participants. A total of 8 intervention groups (IG), 8 control groups (CG) and 8 individual interventions take place.

Figure 1: Study design


Project milstones


Analysis and evaluation

2021 June – September

Training of volunteers and Intervention in group settings

2021 February – May

Intervention in individual settings

2021 January – February

Training of volunteers

2020 October – January

Conception and planning of the intervention

2020 October

Usability test

2020 March

Team growth through three student assistants

2020 January – July

Agile app development process in focus groups

2019 December

Start as core team (management and project staff)