Resources search

Perspectives on assistive technology among older Norwegian adults receiving community health services

HALVORSRUD, Liv
HOLTHE, Torhild
KARTERUD, Dag
THORSTENSEN, Erik
LUND, Anne
2021

Expand view

Introduction: The western world is seeking increased implementation of assistive technology (AT) to meet the challenges of an ageing population. The objective of this study is to explore perspectives on AT use among home-dwelling older adults with or without cognitive impairment.

 

Methods: This study combines findings from a cross-sectional study with a questionnaire package (n = 83) and from qualitative individual interviews (n = 7) and is part of a larger study, the Assisted Living Project. Combining methods promotes complementary inquiries into a phenomenon.

 

Results: The participants already use ATs: TVs, social alarms, mobile phones, stove timers, electronic med- ical dispensers, PCs and tablet computers. They were both optimistic and skeptical of AT, and expressed different perspectives and expressed different perspectives on ATs in relation to usability, privacy and fear of losing personal face-to-face care.

 

Conclusions: This study reveals that older adults’ perspectives on AT are multifaceted and complex, and can partly be explained by the interacting factors in the HAAT model: person, technology, environment, and context. Further exploration in relation to older adults with health challenges, as well as ethical per- spectives on AT implementation, is required for this group.

Design journey of an affordable manual standing wheelchair

SHAIKH-MOHAMMED, Javeed
DASH, Swostik Sourav
SARDA, Vivek
SUJATHA, S
2021

Expand view

Purpose: Only 1 in 10 people with disabilities can access assistive devices, underlining the critical need for low-cost assistive products. This paper describes the design evolution of a manual user-operated standing wheelchair (SWC), translating from prototype to product.


Methods: The SWC design has been refined over 5 years through multiple iterations based on comments from user trials. The SWC product, Arise, provides standing functionality, facile outdoor mobility, afford- ability, customisability, and is aesthetically pleasing. A one-time fitting and training ensure optimal effort for operation, correct posture, and comfortable user experience. The SWC accommodates users of differ- ent sizes and body weights (up to 110kg) and minimises user effort with the use of a gas spring. Incorporating discrete adjustments enables customisation while retaining the advantages of mass manu- facturing, which is necessary for ensuring affordability.

 

Results: The SWC has been field-tested and well received by over 100 wheelchair users, and Arise was launched recently by the industry partner.


Conclusions: It should be noted that RESNA cautions on the use of any standing device without medical consultation. Nevertheless, with appropriate dissemination and awareness, it is anticipated that the afford- able SWC product, Arise, will immensely benefit the eligible users and make a difference in their quality of life.

The influence of a contoured seating base on pressure distribution and discomfort

DE MARE, Lieke
DE GROOT, Bas
DE KONING, Fleur
GEERS, Richard
TETTEROO, Daniel
2021

Expand view

Purpose: This research paper examines how contouring of a wheelchair seating base can help prevent pressure sores by distributing pressure over the buttocks. Contouring wheelchair cushioning is already done to some extent and has proved to be beneficial for pressure distribution. We researched the effect of contouring the seating base, and whether contouring the seating base affects effectiveness in pressure distribution and perceived discomfort.

 

Materials & methods: 13 healthy participants performed a within-subject experiment with three differ- ently contoured seating bases. Perceived comfort and seating pressure were measured for each condition.
Results: Results indicate that a more contoured base is positive for both comfort and increased pressure distribution.

 

Conclusions: Contoured seating bases can provide increased comfort and improved pressure distribution over flat seating bases. Future research should examine the effect of contouring on stability, as well as compare the effects of contoured seating bases and contoured cushions.

A high prevalence of manual wheelchair rear-wheel misalignment could be leading to increased risk of repetitive strain injuries

OTT, Joseph
HENDERSON, Travis
WILSON-JENE, Holly
KOONTZ, Alicia
PEARLMAN, Jonathan
2021

Expand view

Purpose: To determine the prevalence and severity of manual wheelchair rear wheel misalignment in community-dwelling manual wheelchair users and estimate the associated increases in rolling resistance (RR) and risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).


Materials and Methods: Data were collected in an outpatient rehabilitation clinic, a university research laboratory, and at adaptive sporting events in the United States. Two hundred active, self-propelling man- ual wheelchair users were recruited. Angular misalignment (referred to as toe angle) while the wheelchair was loaded with the user, and the difference between the maximum and minimum toe angle (referred to as slop) with the wheelchair unloaded.

 

Results: Average results for toe angle and slop (movement in the rear wheels) were 0.92 and 0.61 degrees, respectively. Using a lab-based testing method, we quantified the impact of increased RR forces due to misalignment in increased RR forces. Our results indicate that the average toe angle while under load and slop, without loading, measured in the community increase required propulsion force by 3.0 N. Combined toe angle and slop (i.e., the worst-case scenario) added increased propulsion force by 3.9 N. Conclusions: We found that rear-wheel misalignment was prevalent and severe enough that it may increase the risk for RSIs and decrease participation. To mitigate this issue, future work should focus on reducing misalignment through improved maintenance interventions and increased manufacturing qual- ity through more stringent standards.

Wheelchair service provision education for healthcare professional students, healthcare personnel and educators across low- to high-resourced settings: a scoping review protocol

KAMALAKANNAN, Sureshkumar
RUSHTON, Paula W
GIESBRECHT, Ed
RUSAW, David F
BOUZIANE, Selsabil-A
NADEAU, Melodie
MCKEE, Jennifer
GOWRAN, Rosemary J
KIRBY, R L
PEDERSEN, Jessica P
TASIEMSKI, Tomasz
BURROLA-MENDEZ, Yohali
TOFANIN, Marco
GOLDBERG, Mary
PEARLMAN, Jon
2020

Expand view

Purpose

Appropriate wheelchair provision is necessary for addressing participation barriers experienced by individuals with mobility impairments. Health care professionals involved in the wheelchair service provision process require a specific set of skills and knowledge to enable wheelchair use that meets individual posture, mobility and daily living requirements. However, inconsistencies exist in academic programmes globally about providing comprehensive education and training programmes. The planned scoping review aims to review and synthesize the global literature on wheelchair service provision education for healthcare professional students, healthcare personnel and educators offered by universities, organizations and industries.

 

Methods

This scoping review will be guided by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) methodological framework. Comprehensive literature searches will be conducted on various global electronic databases on health to seek out how wheelchair service provision education is organized, integrated, implemented and evaluated. Two independent reviewers will perform eligibility decisions and key data extractions. Data from selected studies will be extracted and analysed using conventional content analysis. Information related to wheelchair service provision education including curriculum development, content, teaching methods, evaluation and models of integration will be synthesized.

 

Implications and dissemination

The planned scoping review will be the first to examine all aspects of wheelchair service provision education across professionals, settings and countries. We anticipate that results will inform the content of a Wheelchair Educators’ Package, and if appropriate, a follow-up systematic review. An article reporting the results of the scoping review will be submitted for publication to a scientific journal.

An overview of assistive technology products and services provided in Malawi

SMITH, Emma M
EBUENYI, Ikenna D
KAFUMBA, Juba
JAMALI-PHIRI, Monica
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
MUNTHALI, Alister
2020

Expand view

Background

Assistive technology is the products and services used by individuals with functional limitations to enable participation in society and realisation of rights afforded by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Assistive Product List is a comprehensive list of products identified as essential for access through universal health coverage. Key stakeholders, including organisations of persons with disabilities, civil service organisations, academic organisations and government ministries are collaborating to integrate assistive technology into policy and develop a priority assistive products list for Malawi.

 

Objective

To understand the organisational characteristics of, and assistive products provided by, key stakeholders working in AT in Malawi.

 

Study Design

Online survey of representatives from key stakeholder organisations.

 

Methods

We surveyed representatives of key stakeholder organisations to gather information regarding assistive technology product and service provision in Malawi. Responses were analysed using counts for closed-ended questions, and conventional content analysis for open-ended questions.

 

Results

A total of 36 of the 50 APL products were provided by eight organisations. Related services were provided for 36 of the 50 APL products by twelve organisations. Five organisations reported providing both products and services. Products and services are largely funded by donation and provided free to those who require them.

 

Conclusion

A range of organisations in Malawi play a role in assistive product delivery and related services. Coordinated AP delivery and service provision is required at a national level which is sustainable and inclusive, and is based on identified needs of the Malawian population.

Preliminary experiences in acute occupational therapy for in-patients with coronavirus-19 (COVID-19): leveraging assistive technology in three case studies of male veterans

RICH, Tonya
HICKS, Brandon
DAHL, Abigail
SULLIVAN, Elle
BARRETT, Benjamin
BEDORE, Beau
2020

Expand view

Purpose:

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified in December 2019 with millions of cases reported globally in the succeeding months. Initial hospitalisation strives to minimise multisystem organ failure and of those that survive, individuals can present with profound rehabilitation needs. The purpose of this case series is to describe occupational therapy (OT) and special technology considerations for three male Veteran patients hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. 

 

Methods: 

This is a descriptive case series using a retrospective electronic health record review at a Veterans Administration hospital. The case series includes three male Veterans with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (ages 69–78) who were referred to OT. The cases were selected to demonstrate the novel use of technology and strategies to reduce the risk of transmission. In two of three of our cases, we describe acute rehabilitation with a focus on activity tolerance, participation in occupations, and discharge planning. In all cases, we measured vital signs and activity tolerance as primary outcomes. 

 

Results and conclusions: 

The findings suggest that outcome measures focussing on activity tolerance to maintain stable vital signs during the recovery phase is central to the progression of activities. We observed in our cases that the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance (PEOP) model can guide practice and complement the medical model in management of these patients. We utilised technology to engage family members in the rehabilitation care and minimise exposure risks.

Quality of wheelchair services as perceived by users in rural Bangalore district, India: a cross-sectional survey

GEILEN, Bart G
DE WITTE, Luc
NORMAN, Gift
GEORGE, Carolin Elizabeth
2020

Expand view

Background and aim:

This study investigated the current state of wheelchair services in Bangalore Rural district, as provided by Bangalore Baptist Hospital, and identified areas for improvement.

 

Method:

a cross-sectional survey was held among 50 wheelchair users. Data was collected on demographics, satisfaction, wheelchair skills and level of disability using QUEST, WST-Q and CHART-SF questionnaires.

 

Result:

Overall satisfaction can be described as more or less satisfied, scoring 3.8 out of 5. Wheelchair users were less satisfied with the services compared to the wheelchair itself. The skills a wheelchair users had were strongly correlated with satisfaction scores (p < 0.01). Differences in satisfaction between genders were observed and related to multiple factors.

 

Conclusion:

Wheelchairs should be easy to use with support services being easily accessible. A wheelchair should be delivered together with a training program to provide the user with the skills to operate and maintain the wheelchair. There are gender-wise differences in satisfaction towards wheelchair services that influence satisfaction.

Impact of the FindMyApps program on people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia and their caregivers; an exploratory pilot randomised controlled trial

BEENTJES, Kim M
NEAL, David P
KERKHOF, Yvonne J F
BROEDER, Caroline
MOERIDJAN, Zaïnah D J
ETTEMA, Teake P
PELKMANS, Wiesje
MULLER, Majon M
GRAFF, Maud J L
DRÖES, Rose-Marie
2020

Expand view

Purpose

FindMyApps is a web-based selection-tool and errorless learning training program to help people with mild dementia/Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and caregivers find user-friendly apps. In preparation of a definitive trial, the impact and feasibility of the FindMyApps intervention on self-management and engagement in meaningful activities, including social participation, was explored.

 

Materials and methods

An exploratory pilot randomised controlled trial (trial registration approval number: NL7210) with pre/post measurements was conducted with community-dwelling people with mild dementia/MCI and their caregivers (n = 59) in the Netherlands. Dyads in the experimental group (n = 28) received training to use the tablet and FindMyApps, and the errorless learning method was taught to their caregivers. Control group dyads (n = 31) received a tablet (without FindMyApps), instructions on tablet-use and links to dementia-friendly apps. Validated instruments were used to assess person with dementia’s self-management, meaningful activities and social participation, caregiver’s sense of competence and both their quality of life.

 

Results and conclusions

No statistical significant group differences on the outcomes were found. Small to moderate effect-sizes in favour of the FindMyApps group were found for self-management and social participation. Caregivers tended to have more positive care experiences. Subgroup analyses showed that people older than 70 benefitted more from FindMyApps regarding self-management and higher educated people benefitted more regarding social participation. FindMyApps is feasible for the target group and may have potential to improve self-management and social participation. For a future definitive effectiveness trial a larger sample size is recommended, as well as taking into account the possible impact of education and age.

Moral distress and ethical decision-making of eldercare professionals involved in digital service transformation

FRENNERT, Susanne
2020

Expand view

Aim

Technology affects almost all aspects of modern eldercare. Ensuring ethical decision-making is essential as eldercare becomes more digital; each decision affects a patient’s life, self-esteem, health and wellness.

 

Methods

We conducted a survey and interviews with eldercare professionals to better understand the behavioural ethics and decision making involved in the digital transition of eldercare.

 

Conclusion

Our qualitative analysis showed three recurrent roles among eldercare professionals in regard to digital service transformation; makers, implementers and maintainers. All three encountered challenging and stressful ethical dilemmas due to uncertainty and a lack of control. The matter of power relations, the attempts to standardize digital solutions and the conflict between cost efficiency and if digital care solutions add value for patients, all caused moral dilemmas for eldercare professionals. The findings suggest a need for organizational infrastructure that promotes ethical conduct and behaviour, ethics training and access to related resources.

Recommendations for studies on dynamic arm support devices in people with neuromuscular disorders: a scoping review with expert-based discussion

ESSERS, J M N
MURGIA, A
PETERS, A A
JANSSEN, M M H P
MEIJER, K
2020

Expand view

Purpose

Neuromuscular disorders are characterised by muscle weakness that limits upper extremity mobility, but can be alleviated with dynamic arm support devices. Current research highlights the importance and difficulties of evidence-based recommendations for device development. We aim to provide research recommendations primarily concerning upper extremity body functions, and secondarily activity and participation, environmental and personal factors.

 

Methods

Evidence was synthesised from literature, ongoing studies, and expert opinions and tabulated within a framework based on a combination of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model and contextual constructs.

 

Results

Current literature mostly investigated the motor capacity of muscle function, joint mobility, and upper body functionality, and a few studies also addressed the impact on activity and participation. In addition, experts considered knowledge on device utilisation in the daily environment and characterising the beneficiaries better as important. Knowledge gaps showed that ICF model components and contextual constructs should be better integrated and more actively included in future research.

 

Conclusions

It is recommended to, first, integrate multiple ICF model components and contextual constructs within one study design. Second, include the influence of environmental and personal factors when developing and deploying a device. Third, include short-term and long-term measurements to monitor adaptations over time. Finally, include user satisfaction as guidance to evaluate the device effectiveness.

Measure It Super Simple (MISS) activity tracker: (re)design of a user-friendly interface and evaluation of experiences in daily life

UMMELS, Darcy
BRAUN, Susy
STEVENS, An
BEEKMAN, Emmylou
BEURSKENS, Anna
2020

Expand view

Purpose

The purposes of this study were, first, to (re)design the user-interface of the activity tracker known as the MOX with the help of input from elderly individuals living independently and, second, to assess the use of and experiences with the adapted Measure It Super Simple (MISS) activity tracker in daily life.

 

Methods

The double diamond method, which was used to (re)design the user-interface, consists of four phases: discover, define, develop, and deliver. As a departure point, this study used a list of general design requirements that facilitate the development of technology for the elderly. Usage and experiences were assessed through interviews after elderly individuals had used the activity tracker for 2 weeks.

 

Results

In co-creation with thirty-five elderly individuals (65 to 89-years-old) the design, feedback system, and application were further developed into a user-friendly interface: the Measure It Super Simple (MISS) activity. Twenty-eight elderly individuals (65 to 78-years-old) reported that they found the MISS activity easy to use, needed limited help when setting the tracker up, and required limited assistance when using it during their daily lives.

 

Conclusions

This study offers a generic structured methodology and a list of design requirements to adapt the interface of an existing activity tracker consistent with the skills and needs of the elderly. The MISS activity seemed to be successfully (re)designed, like the elderly who participated in this pilot study reported that anyone should be able to use it.

Does the purpose matter? A comparison of everyday information and communication technologies between eHealth use and general use as perceived by older adults with cognitive impairment

JAKOBSSON, Elin
NYGÅRD, Louise
KOTTORP, Anders
OLSSON, Cecilia Bråkenhielm
MALINOWSKY, Camilla
2020

Expand view

Background and objective

Everyday information and communication technologies (EICTs) are increasingly being used in our society, for both general and health-related purposes. This study aims to compare how older adults with cognitive impairment perceive relevance and level of EICT challenge between eHealth use and general use.

 

Methods

This cross-sectional study includes 32 participants (65–85 years of age) with cognitive impairment of different origins (due to e.g., stroke or dementia). The Short Everyday Technology Use Questionnaire+ (S-ETUQ+) was used, providing information about the relevance of EICTs and measuring the EICT level of challenge. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, standardized z-tests and Fisher’s exact tests. The significance level was set to p < .05.

 

Results

The result shows that the perceived amount of relevant EICTs for eHealth use was lower in all 16 EICTs compared to those of general use. About the perceived level of challenge, a significant difference was detected in one of the seven included EICTs between eHealth use and general use.

 

Conclusions

In this sample, all EICTs were perceived as having lower relevance for eHealth use compared to general use, suggesting that the purpose of using an EICT affects the perceived relevance of it. Also, once an EICT is perceived as relevant and used for eHealth purposes, there seem to be little to no differences in perceived challenge compared to the same EICT used for general purposes.

Novel lateral transfer assist robot decreases the difficulty of transfer in post-stroke hemiparesis patients: a pilot study

KOYAMA, Soichiro
TANABE, Shigeo
OTAKA, Yohei
KATO, Tomoya
FURUZAWA, Shotaro
TATEMOTO, Tsuyoshi
KUMAZAWA, Nobuhiro
YOSHIMUTA, Hiroshi
TORII, Katsuhiko
TSUKADA, Shingo
SAITOH, Eiichi
et al
2020

Expand view

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to clarify whether the novel lateral transfer assist robot facilitates easier transfers compared with a wheelchair in post-stroke hemiparesis patients.

 

Methods

This cross-sectional study enrolled 20 post-stroke hemiparesis patients, and the task difficulty of transfers was compared between a wheelchair and lateral transfer assist robot. All participants were asked to transfer from either wheelchair or lateral transfer assist robot to a platform table and back. The primary outcome was the transfer score of the Functional Independence Measure. The secondary outcome was the time required for transfer.

 

Results

The transfer score of the Functional Independence Measure was significantly higher with lateral transfer assist robot than with wheelchair (p < .001). The transfer times from these devices to a platform table and back showed no significant differences (to device from platform table: 7.8 s, lateral transfer assist robot vs 7.6 s, wheelchair, p > .05: device to platform table: 7.1 s, lateral transfer assist robot vs 8.0 s, wheelchair, p > .05).

 

Conclusions

Transfer with a lateral transfer assist robot is easier than with wheelchair and facilitates independence in post-stroke hemiparesis patients.

Smartphone apps for transportation by people with intellectual disabilities: are they really helpful in improving their mobility?

ALANAZI, Adel
2020

Expand view

Purpose

The paper undertakes a critical assessment of the use of smartphone apps for transportation by people with intellectual disabilities. Although apps for transportation such as Uber and Careem have been developed to assist people with disabilities and have numerous benefits, people with intellectual disabilities tend to encounter their own set of difficulties in accessing these apps.

 

Materials and method

This paper presents the research findings drawn from a focus group discussion conducted with nine people with moderate to mild intellectual disabilities in Riyadh, by using a qualitative study focussed on the interpretative paradigm.

 

Results

From the interview findings, some relevant themes were identified. These were: transportation issues encountered by people with intellectual disabilities, the extent and manner of the use of smartphone apps for transportation, the benefits enjoyed by those individuals in using smartphone apps for transportation and the difficulties encountered by them.

 

Conclusions

The paper also discusses the implications for practice and presents some useful recommendations, including the need for family support and government assistance.

A glimpse into smartphone screen reader use among blind teenagers in rural Nepal

SANKHI, Prakash
SANDNES, Frode Eika
2020

Expand view

Purpose

Access to appropriate assistive technology is a challenge worldwide and especially in low GDP-per-capita countries. Nepal is one example of a country with several coinciding challenges: some claim having a high rate of blindness in the general population, a low-GDP-per capita and some studies claim it has a low literacy rate, especially in rural areas. Without appropriate assistive technology, some disabled youth may not get full access to education.

 

Methods

To gain insight into assistive technology use in rural Nepal, five blind teenagers in a mixed secondary school with disabled and non-disabled students in rural Nepal were interviewed about their daily smartphone use.

 

Results

The results show that all the participants used screen readers on donated smartphones. None of the participants had received formal training in using smartphone screen readers and therefore lacked knowledge about basic and essential operational aspects of the devices as well as misguided expectations about the technology.

 

Conclusions

One implication of the findings is that smartphone accessibility features training material needs to be made easily available to schools and all disabled youth worldwide, as smartphones are increasingly becoming available in low-income remote regions with low literacy rates. The built-in accessibility features of smartphones promise disabled youth a non-stigmatizing platform for social participation and access to the information society.

The value of powered mobility scooters from the perspective of elderly spouses of the users – a qualitative study

FREDRIKSSON, Carin
PETTERSSON, Ingvor
HAGBERG, Lars
HERMANSSON, Liselotte
2020

Expand view

Purpose

To explore spouses’ experiences of the value of mobility scooters prescribed to their partner.

 

Material and Methods

A descriptive design with a qualitative approach was used. Thirteen spouses (11 females) aged 65–86 years participated. Semi-structured interviews were conducted when the spouse’s partner had had the mobility scooter for 4–6 months. The interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

 

Results

The interviews showed primarily that the spouses experienced that their everyday lives and life situation had improved since their partner had received a mobility scooter. They reported that they could engage in activities of their own choice to a greater extent. The prescription of a mobility scooter to their partner had also yielded a sense of freedom related to shared activities. On the other hand, the spouses described some of the scooter’s limitations. Three categories emerged: a sense of freedom related to the spouse’s own activities, a sense of freedom related to shared activities and a somewhat restricted freedom.

 

Conclusion

Prescription of a powered mobility scooter was of value to the users’ spouses because it facilitated independent and shared activities and participation in the community. The value was mainly expressed as a sense of freedom when doing things on their own or together with their partner. Spouses are key persons in the rehabilitation of people with mobility restrictions. Their views on the assistive device may influence the rehabilitation process. Knowledge of spouses’ experiences is thus crucial, as this may influence the future rehabilitation outcome.

A person living with dementia learning to navigate an iPad: a case study

INGEBRAND, Elias
SAMUELSSON, Christina
HYDÉN, Lars-Christer
2020

Expand view

Purpose

This study challenges the notion that people living with dementia are unable to achieve novel learning without focussed intervention techniques. The purpose of this study is to explore how a woman living with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease) learns to use a tablet computer with support from communicative partners.

 

Method

The study is based on video recordings and the theoretical framework of learning as changing participation in joint activities. Quantitative and qualitative focus is on changes in the interactional organization over the course of six weeks in the activity of using an augmentative and alternative communication application.

 

Results

Over time, the participant living with dementia, relies less on the expertise and explicit instructions of her communicative partners when navigating the application, and more on the immediate feedback provided by the tablet computer.

 

Conclusions

The findings suggest that novel learning still is possible for people living with dementia, even without the implementation of focussed interventions. This study further emphasizes the procedural nature of learning for people living with dementia as the woman’s embodied actions were carried out in an increasingly more direct fashion.

Use of technology by orientation and mobility professionals in Australia and Malaysia before COVID-19

DEVERELL, Lil
BHOWMIK, Jahar
LAU, Bee Theng
AL MAHMUD, Abdullah
SUKUNESAN, Suku
ISLAM, Fakir M Amirul
MCCARTHY, Chris
MEYER, Denny
2020

Expand view

Purpose

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) professionals teach people with low vision or blindness to use specialist assistive technologies to support confident travel, but many O&M clients now prefer a smartphone. This study aimed to investigate what technology O&M professionals in Australia and Malaysia have, use, like, and want to support their client work, to inform the development of O&M technologies and build capacity in the international O&M profession.

 

Materials and Methods

A technology survey was completed by professionals (n = 36) attending O&M workshops in Malaysia. A revised survey was completed online by O&M specialists (n = 31) primarily in Australia. Qualitative data about technology use came from conferences, workshops and interviews with O&M professionals. Descriptive statistics were analysed together with free-text data.

 

Results

Limited awareness of apps used by clients, unaffordability of devices, and inadequate technology training discouraged many O&M professionals from employing existing technologies in client programmes or for broader professional purposes. Professionals needed to learn smartphone accessibility features and travel-related apps, and ways to use technology during O&M client programmes, initial professional training, ongoing professional development and research.

 

Conclusions

Smartphones are now integral to travel with low vision or blindness and early-adopter O&M clients are the travel tech-experts. O&M professionals need better initial training and then regular upskilling in mainstream O&M technologies to expand clients’ travel choices. COVID-19 has created an imperative for technology laggards to upskill for O&M tele-practice. O&M technology could support comprehensive O&M specialist training and practice in Malaysia, to better serve O&M clients with complex needs.

Implementing music therapy through telehealth: considerations for military populations

VAUDREUIL, Rebecca
LANGSTON, Diane G
MAGEE, Wendy L
BETTS, Donna
KASS, Sara
LEVY, Charles
2020

Expand view

Purpose

Telehealth provides psychotherapeutic interventions and psychoeducation for remote populations with limited access to in-person behavioural health and/or rehabilitation treatment. The United States Department of Défense and the Veterans Health Administration use telehealth to deliver primary care, medication management, and services including physical, occupational, and speech-language therapies for service members, veterans, and eligible dependents. While creative arts therapies are included in telehealth programming, the existing evidence base focuses on art therapy and dance/movement therapy, with a paucity of information on music therapy.

 

Methods

Discussion of didactic and applied music experiences, clinical, ethical, and technological considerations, and research pertaining to music therapy telehealth addresses this gap through presentation of three case examples. These programmes highlight music therapy telehealth with military-connected populations on a continuum of clinical and community engagement: 1) collaboration between Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and the Acoke Rural Development Initiative in Lira, Uganda; 2) the Semper Sound Cyber Health programme in San Diego, CA; and 3) the integration of music therapy telehealth into Creative Forces®, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

Results

These examples illustrate that participants were found to positively respond to music therapy and community music engagement through telehealth, and reported decrease in pain, anxiety, and depression; they endorsed that telehealth was not a deterrent to continued music engagement, requested continued music therapy telehealth sessions, and recommended it to their peers.

 

Conclusions

Knowledge gaps and evolving models of creative arts therapies telehealth for military-connected populations are elucidated, with emphasis on clinical and ethical considerations.

Pages

E-bulletin