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Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology

Emma M Smith, Danelle Fuller, Hina Mahmood, William C Miller
PURPOSE: To determine if older adult, novice wheelchair users who drive a power wheelchair with a JoyBar control complete maneuverability tasks in less time and with less error than those who drive a power wheelchair with a standard joystick control. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A parallel randomized controlled trial design conducted at a medical rehabilitation and research centre with ambulatory older adults aged 60 and above (n = 27). The intervention was the JoyBar alternative wheelchair control...
August 9, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Rebecca Jamwal, Libby Callaway, Louise Farnworth, Di Winkler
Electronic assistive technologies (EATs) are fast becoming considered an essential component of everyday life. To date, there has been little research on the use of EAT by people living in shared supported accommodation (SSA), one of the major community-based housing options for people with disability (PwD) in Australia. This study aimed to (1) audit current EAT use by PwD living in SSA, (2) describe the impact of Internet access on EAT use, and (3) examine potential relationships between individual characteristics and EAT use...
August 3, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
W Ben Mortenson, Alex Pysklywec, Marcus J Fuhrer, Jeffrey W Jutai, Michelle Plante, Louise Demers
Qualitative data from a mixed-methods clinical trial are used to examine caregivers' experiences with the selection and use of assistive technology to facilitate care recipients' independence. Through a thematic analysis of interviews from 27 caregivers, three broad themes were identified. "A partial peace of mind" described the generally positive psychological impacts from assistive technology, mainly reduced stress and a shift in caregiving labour from physical tasks to a monitoring role. "Working together" explored the caregivers' experiences of receiving assistive technology and the sense of collaboration felt by caregivers during the intervention process...
August 2, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Abid Ismail, K S Kuppusamy, Ab Shakoor Nengroo
PURPOSE: Nature of being accessible to all categories of users is one of the primary factors for enabling the wider reach of the resources published through World Wide Web. The accessibility of websites has been analyzed through W3C guidelines with the help of various tools. This paper presents a multi-tool accessibility assessment of government department websites belonging to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. A comparative analysis of six accessibility tools is also presented with 14 different parameters...
August 2, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Ji-Hye Nam, Hee Kim
PURPOSE: This study aims to systematically evaluate and synthesize the literature on the effects of assistive technology devices on the activities of daily living and cognitive functions of people with brain injury. METHODS: Eight randomized controlled trials were selected from online databases pertaining to the scientific use of AT devices for people with brain injury. The Jadad scale was used to analyse the subjects qualitatively, and Comprehensive Meta-Analysis 2...
August 1, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Larissa C Schudlo, Tom Chau
PURPOSE: For non-verbal individuals, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are a potential means of communication. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a brain-monitoring modality that has been considered for BCIs. To date, limited NIRS-BCI testing has involved online classification, particularly with individuals with severe motor impairments. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We tested an online NIRS-BCI developed for a non-verbal individual with severe congenital motor impairments...
July 31, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
M M Wentink, E Prieto, A J de Kloet, T P M Vliet Vlieland, J J L Meesters
INTRODUCTION: Success of e-health relies on the extent to which the related technology, such as the electronic device, is accepted by its users. However, there has been limited research on the patients' perspective on use of e-health-related technology in rehabilitation care. OBJECTIVE: To explore the usage of common electronic devices among rehabilitation patients with access to email and investigate their preferences regarding their usage in rehabilitation. METHODS: Adult patients who were admitted for inpatient and/or outpatient rehabilitation and were registered with an email address were invited to complete an electronic questionnaire regarding current and preferred use of information and communication technologies in rehabilitation care...
July 31, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Sandra Bedaf, Patrizia Marti, Farshid Amirabdollahian, Luc de Witte
PURPOSE: The potential of service robots for seniors is given increasing attention as the ageing population in Western countries will continue to grow as well as the demand for home care. In order to capture the experience of living with a robot at home, a multi-perspective evaluation was conducted. METHODS: Older adults (n = 10) were invited to execute an actual interaction scenario with the Care-O-bot(®) robot in a home-like environment and were questioned about their experiences...
July 31, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Anna Berardi, Rita De Santis, Marco Tofani, Marquez Maru, Valter Santilli, Paula W Rushton, Roberta Mollica, Giovanni Galeoto
OBJECTIVE: We developed an Italian version of the Wheelchair Use Confidence Scale for Manual Users-Short Form (WheelCon-M-I-short form) and examined its reliability and validity. METHODS: The original scale was translated from English to Italian using the "Translation and Cultural Adaptation of Patient Reported Outcomes Measures-Principles of Good Practice" guidelines. The WheelCon-M-I-short form was administered to experienced manual wheelchair users who had a variety of diagnoses...
July 31, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Paula W Rushton, François Routhier, William C Miller
PURPOSE: To evaluate the measurement properties of the Wheelchair Use Confidence Scale for power wheelchair users (WheelCon-P). DESIGN: One-month test-retest design, using data from a longitudinal study of power wheelchair use. PARTICIPANTS: Volunteer sample of 73 community dwelling, older adult experienced power wheelchair users who had a mean age of 60.5 ± 7.1 years. METHODS: Participants completed the WheelCon-P twice to assess retest reliability...
July 29, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Megan K MacGillivray, Bonita J Sawatzky, William C Miller, Francois Routhier, R Lee Kirby
PURPOSE: To determine improvements in goal satisfaction following individualized mobility-related powered wheelchair skills training and whether changes in satisfaction are maintained 3 months post-training. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventeen powered wheelchair users, from two centres, who were randomized to the training intervention from a larger multicentre study, were included in this secondary analysis. The intervention consisted of five 30-min individualized Wheelchair Skills Training Program sessions...
July 16, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Karen Rispin, John DiFrancesco, Lawrence A Raymond, Kristopher Riseling, Joy Wee
PURPOSE: The Wheelchair Components Questionnaire for Condition (WCQ-C) enables the collection of data on wheelchair maintenance condition and durability in resource-limited environments. It can be used in large studies to indicate typical patterns of wear at a location, or for a type of wheelchair. It can also be used in clinical settings as an evidence based indication that a wheelchair may need repair or replacement. This type of data can enable effective use of limited funds by wheelchair providers, manufacturers and users...
July 7, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Amin Gharebaghi, Mir-Abolfazl Mostafavi, Geoffrey Edwards, Patrick Fougeyrollas, Stéphanie Gamache, Yan Grenier
BACKGROUND: Our contemporary understanding of disability is rooted in the idea that disability is the product of human-environment interaction processes. People may be functionally limited, but this becomes a disability only when they engage with their immediate social and physical environments. Any attempt to address issues of mobility in relation to people with disabilities should be grounded in an ontology that encompasses this understanding. PURPOSE: The objective of this study is to provide a methodology to integrate the social and physical environments in the development of a mobility ontology for people with motor disabilities (PWMD)...
July 7, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Wing-Chee So, Miranda Kit-Yi Wong, Carrie Ka-Yee Lam, Wan-Yi Lam, Anthony Tsz-Fung Chui, Tsz-Lok Lee, Hoi-Man Ng, Chun-Hung Chan, Daniel Chun-Wing Fok
While it has been argued that children with autism spectrum disorders are responsive to robot-like toys, very little research has examined the impact of robot-based intervention on gesture use. These children have delayed gestural development. We used a social robot in two phases to teach them to recognize and produce eight pantomime gestures that expressed feelings and needs. Compared to the children in the wait-list control group (N = 6), those in the intervention group (N = 7) were more likely to recognize gestures and to gesture accurately in trained and untrained scenarios...
July 4, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Nooshin Jafari, Kim Adams, Mahdi Tavakoli, Sandra Wiebe, Heidi Janz
This paper presents a novel application of an assistive robotic system with virtual assistance to enhance manual performance of individuals with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy affects one's voluntary motor movements resulting in limited opportunities to actively engage in physical manipulative activities that require fine motor movements and coordination. Lack of object manipulation and environmental exploration can result in further impairments such as cognitive and social delays. The proposed assistive robotic system has been developed to enhance hand movements of people with disabilities when performing a functional task colouring...
July 4, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Johan Borg, Björn Olof Ekman, Per-Olof Östergren
PURPOSE: In response to the need for hearing aids in low-income countries, an approach to provide hearing aids through trained community workers was developed. This study compares the effectiveness of the community-based approach with that of a centre-based approach. METHODS: One hundred and forty adolescents (56% girls; 12-18 years; mean: 15 years) from eleven sub-districts participated in a cluster-randomized trial comparing a community-based service (n = 75) with a centre-based service (n = 65) in Bangladesh...
June 2, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Peter W Axelson, Seanna L Hurley
PURPOSE: The firmness and stability of indoor and outdoor surfacing are critical to the accessibility and safety of all environments for people with mobility impairments and/or who use mobility devices. ASTM F1951 laboratory test procedures include pass/fail criteria for determining playground surface accessibility by comparing the work to propel up a 1:14 (7.1%) grade ramp to that of the test surface in a wheelchair. A portable instrumented surface indenter (ISI) was developed to validate that accessibility results obtained in the laboratory are maintained in the field where the surface is installed and used...
May 27, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Conor McGinn, Michael F Cullinan, Mark Culleton, Kevin Kelly
PURPOSE: Multipurpose robots that can perform a range of useful tasks have the potential to increase the quality of life for many people living with disabilities. Owing to factors such as high system complexity, as-yet unresolved research questions and current technology limitations, there is a need for effective strategies to coordinate the development process. METHOD: Integrating established methodologies based on human-centred design and universal design, a framework was formulated to coordinate the robot design process over successive iterations of prototype development...
May 24, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Susan Koch Fager, Tabatha Sorenson, Susanne Butte, Alexander Nelson, Nilanjan Banerjee, Ryan Robucci
PURPOSE: This article illustrates user-centred design of a novel sensor access system for environmental control in the concept stage of development. METHODS: Focus groups of individuals with disabilities and rehabilitation healthcare professionals were provided with video illustration of the technology and asked to provide quantitative and qualitative feedback through a semistructured interview process. Qualitative methods were employed to analyse transcribed comments to develop themes supporting ongoing development of the technology...
May 19, 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Paula W Rushton, Ben W Mortenson, Pooja Viswanathan, Rosalie H Wang, William C Miller, Laura Hurd Clarke
PURPOSE: Long-term care (LTC) residents with cognitive impairments frequently experience limited mobility and participation in preferred activities. Although a power wheelchair could mitigate some of these mobility and participation challenges, this technology is often not prescribed for this population due to safety concerns. An intelligent power wheelchair (IPW) system represents a potential intervention that could help to overcome these concerns. The purpose of this study was to explore a) how residents experienced an IPW that used three different modes of control and b) what perceived effect the IPW would have on their daily lives...
October 2017: Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
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