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Dr Frank Lai

Senior Lecturer

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Senior Lecturer

Occupational Therapy

Dept. Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Coach Lane Campus, Newcastle

Frank Lai

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Dr Lai is a scientist from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) China.

He received BSc in Occupational Therapy from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), then awarded MSc Health Care in Occupational Therapy and obtained his PhD from the PolyU. He is the holder of the Diploma of Epidemiology & Applied Statistics, and the Diploma of Occupational Safety & Health.  

He had been working in the Hospital Authority (HA) of Hong Kong for more than twenty years and had been working as Allied Health Training Officer in HA. Dr Lai was the Unit Safety Officer and the Unit Infection Control Coordinator for years. He has ample experience in teaching, clinical service, research and administration that covered field of psychiatric and physical rehabilitation in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Most importantly, he has been working actively in clinical research throughout these decades. His records of publications and conference presentations covered various important dimensions in rehabilitation sciences such as vocational rehabilitation, geri-orthopaedic rehabilitation, wheelchair & seating, amputation rehabilitation, home safety and fall prevention, problem solving style of substance abusers, executive functioning, dementia, cognitive screening, blood-based biomarkers, application of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and caregivers' research.

In recent years, Dr Lai’s research interest geared towards two directions. The first is on the implementation of holistic dementia care, which aimed not only to people with dementia but also to their care-givers. He conducts research on neuro-modulation for older people with dementia and MCI; applies VR, AR and AI for earlier cognitive screening and training; organizes public education, especially on intergeneration education for dementia care.

Dr Lai is one of the directors of the Chinese Dementia Research Association and is one of the advisors of the “Dementia Care Link” which is a co-joint community volunteer training project between HA and various district-based NGOs in the community. His another research direction is on the application of design thinking to facilitate the growth of moral reasoning, empathy, social responsibility, and social innovation for the prosocial behavior and positive youth development. He is the advisor of a local NGO on a social innovation development program for positive youth development “Youth Impact Award, YIAA” . 

With the support from HKSAR Governmental funding, Dr Lai developed a web-based platform 攜手跨障礙-公眾教育平台“” for public education. Moreover, with the support from the Fund of Better Living of the Innovation & Technology Committee of the HKSAR, Dr Lai and his team develop a cognitive training apps for older people "小城大事腦力挑戰 Brain Challenge for Major Events in a Small Town" 


Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Effects of Experiential Learning Programmes on Adolescent Prosocial Behaviour, Empathy, and Subjective Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Chan, H., Kwong, H., Shu, G., Ting, C., Lai, F. 4 Aug 2021, In: Frontiers in Psychology
  • Effects of traditional Cantonese opera songs on Cantonese-speaking, community-dwelling older adults’ cognitive and psychological function, well-being, and health, Man, D., Lai, F., Yu, E., Lee, G. 19 Jan 2021, In: Aging and Mental Health
  • Meta-Analysis on the Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Cognitive Training (VRCT) and Computer-Based Cognitive Training (CBCT) for Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Hung, S., Ho, A., Lai, I., Lee, C., Pong, A., Lai, F. 18 Dec 2020, In: Electronics (Switzerland)
  • Home-based evaluation of executive function (Home-MET) for older adults with mild cognitive impairment, Lai, F. 7 Dec 2020, In: Alzheimer's and Dementia
  • The Protective Impact of Telemedicine on Persons With Dementia and Their Caregivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Lai, F., Yan, E., Yu, K., Tsui, W., Chan, D., Yee, B. 1 Nov 2020, In: American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Professional Activity

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Publication Peer-review: Experimental Aging Research (Journal) 2021
  • Publication Peer-review: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Journal) 2021
  • Publication Peer-review: Applied Research in Quality of Life (Journal) 2020
  • Publication Peer-review: Dementia (Journal) 2020
  • Invited talk: International HealthTech Forum 2021 2020


  • Philosophy PhD May 15 2017
  • Management Diploma May 31 2007
  • Health MSc November 21 2001
  • Statistics Diploma August 12 1998
  • Occupational Therapy BSc October 26 1995
  • Overseas' Member Royal College of Occupational Therapists 2020
  • Member of The Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART) ISTAART 2020
  • Hong Kong Registered Occupational Therapist HKROT 1995

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