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Assessment of functioning and disability in patients with low back pain – the low back pain assessment tool. Part 1: development

IBSEN, Charlotte
SCHIØTTZ-CHRISTENSEN, Berit
NIELSEN, Claus Vinther
HØRDER, Mogens
SCHMIDT, Anne Mette
MARIBO, Thomas
2021

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Purpose: To present the process used to develop the low back pain (LBP) assessment tool including evaluation of the initial content validity of the tool.


Methods: The development process comprised the elements: definition of construct and content, literature search, item generation, needs assessment, piloting, adaptations, design, and technical production. The LBP assessment tool was developed to assess the construct “functioning and disability” as defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Involvement of patients and health professionals was essential.

 

Results: The elements were collapsed into five steps. In total, 18 patients and 12 health professionals contributed to the content and the design of the tool. The LBP assessment tool covered all ICF components shared among 63 ICF categories.


Conclusions: This study presents the process used to develop the LBP assessment tool, which is the first tool to address all ICF components and integrate biopsychosocial perspectives provided by patients and health professionals in the same tool. Initial evaluation of content validity showed adequate reflection of the construct “functioning and disability”. Further work on the way will evaluate comprehensiveness, acceptability, and degree of implementation of the LBP assessment tool to strengthen its use for clinical practice.

German version of the Chelsea Critical Care Physical Assessment Tool (CPAx-GE): translation, cross-cultural adaptation, validity, and reliability

EGGMANN, Sabrina
VERRA, Martin L
STEFANICKI, Valentine
KINDLER, Angela
SEYLER, Daphne
HILFIKER, Roger
SCHEFOLD, Joerg C
BASTIAENEN, Caroline H G
ZANTE, Bjoern
2021

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Purpose: To translate and cross-culturally adapt the Chelsea Critical Care Physical Assessment tool from English to German (CPAx-GE) and to examine its validity and reliability.


Materials and methods: Following a forward-backward translation including an expert round table dis- cussion, the measurement properties of the CPAx-GE were explored in critically ill, mechanically ventilated adults. We investigated construct, cross-sectional, and cross-cultural validity of the CPAx-GE with other measurement instruments at pre-specified timepoints, analysed relative reliability with intraclass correl- ation coefficients (ICCs) and determined absolute agreement with the Bland–Altman plots.

 

Results: Consensus for the translated CPAx-GE was reached. Validity was excellent with >80% of the pre- specified hypotheses accepted at baseline, critical care, and hospital discharge. Interrater reliability was high (ICCs > 0.8) across all visits. Limit of agreement ranged from 2 to 2 points. Error of measurement was small, floor, and ceiling effects limited.

 

Conclusions: The CPAx-GE demonstrated excellent construct, cross-sectional, and cross-cultural validity as well as high interrater reliability in critically ill adults with prolonged mechanical ventilation at baseline, critical care, and hospital discharge. Consequently, the CPAx-GE can be assumed equal to the original and recommended in the German-speaking area to assess physical function and activity of critically ill adults across the critical care and hospital stay.

Design journey of an affordable manual standing wheelchair

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

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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

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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

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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.

Background: Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of young people including those with disabilities is a major public health concern globally. However, available evidence on their use of sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) is inconsistent.Object

KUMI-KYEREME, Akwasi
2021

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Background:Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of young people including those with disabilities is a major public health concern globally. However, available evidence on their use of sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) is inconsistent.


Objective:This study investigated utilisation of SRHS amongst the in-school young people with disabilities (YPWDs) in Ghana using the healthcare utilisation model.


Methods: Guided by the cross-sectional study design, a questionnaire was used to obtain data from 2114 blind and deaf pupils or students in the age group 10-24 years, sampled from 15 purposively selected special schools for the deaf and the blind in Ghana.


Results: About seven out of every 10 respondents had ever utilised SRHS. The proportion was higher amongst the males (67.8%) compared with the females (62.8%). Young persons with disabilities in the coastal (OR = 0.03, 95% CI = 0.01–0.22) and middle (OR = 0.06, 95% CI = 0.01–0.44) zones were less likely to have ever utilised SRHS compared with those in the northern ecological zone. The blind pupils or students were more likely to have ever utilised SRHS than the deaf (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.26–3.11).


Conclusions: Generally, SRHS utilisation amongst the in-school YPWDs in Ghana is high but significantly associated with some predisposing, need and enabling or disabling factors. This underscores the need for policymakers to consider in-school YPWDs as a heterogeneous group in the design and implementation of SRHS programmes. The Ghana Education Service in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service should adopt appropriate pragmatic measures and targeted interventions in the special schools to address the SRH needs of the pupils or students.

Exploring participation in family and recreational activities among children with cerebral palsy during early childhood: how does it relate to motor function and parental empowerment?

KALLESON, Runa
JAHNSEN, Reidun
ØSTENSJØ, Sigrid
2021

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Purpose: To explore participation in real-life activities during early childhood, compare children’s partici- pation based on motor function and investigate relationships between participation and parental empowerment.


Methods: Data derived from the Cerebral Palsy Follow-up Program (CPOP) in Norway and the research registry Habilitation Trajectories, Interventions, and Services for Young Children with CP (CPHAB). Fifty-six children (12–56 months, GMFCS levels I–IV, MACS levels I–V) and their families were included. Frequency and enjoyment of participation were assessed by the Child Engagement in Daily Life Questionnaire and parental empowerment in family and service situations by the Family Empowerment Scale at least twice during the preschool years. Differences between groups based on motor function were explored by the Kruskal–Wallis tests. A linear mixed model was conducted to explore relationships between child partici- pation and parental empowerment.

 

Results: Similarities and differences in participation between children at different motor function levels varied between the activities explored. Fluctuations in frequency and stable enjoyment scores over time were most common. A statistically significant relationship was revealed between child participation and parental empowerment in family situations, but not in service situations.

 

Conclusions: Child participation appears as context-dependent and complexly influenced by both motor function and parental empowerment. This supports a focus on transactional processes when exploring and promoting child participation.

Prevalence, types, and combinations of multiple problems among recipients of work disability benefits

BRONGERS, Kor A
HOEKSTRA, Tialda
ROELOFS, Pepijn D D M
BROUWER, Sandra
2021

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Purpose: For persons on disability benefits who are facing multiple problems, active labour market poli- cies seem less successful. Besides health problems, these people perceive personal, social, and environ- mental problems. Since very little is known about these “non-medical” problems our aim was to explore the prevalence of clients experiencing multiple problems, the types and number of perceived problems, combinations of perceived problems, and associated characteristics in a group of work disability benefit recipients.

 

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study, using self-reported data on perceived problems and socio-demographics, and register data from the Dutch Social Security Institute on diagnosed diseases and employment status. A convenient group of labour experts recruited eligible clients on work disability benefit.

 

Results: Of the 207 persons on work disability benefit, 87% perceived having multiple problems. Most reported problems were related to physical (76%) or mental (76%) health. Health problems most fre- quently occurred together with a mismatch in education, financial problems, or care for family members. Clients with lower education experienced significantly more problems than clients with an intermediate or high educational level.

 

Conclusions: Clients with multiple problems face severe and intertwined problems in different domains of life, and need tailored multi-actor work disability management.

Do personal assistance activities promote participation in society for persons with disabilities in Sweden? A five-year longitudinal study

VON GRANITZ, Heléne
SONNANDER, Karin
REINE, Ieva
WINBLAD, Ulrika
2021

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Purpose: To explore whether the personal assistance (PA) activities provided by the Swedish Act concern- ing Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairment in 2010 and 2015 promote par- ticipation in society according to Article 19 of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

 

Methods: Register data and data from two questionnaires were used (N1⁄42565). Descriptive statistics and chi-square (McNemar’s test) were used to describe the basic features of the data. Mixed binominal logistic regression was used to examine correlation between gender and hours of PA between 2010 and 2015.

 

Results: Despite an increase in the number of PA hours, more care activities and a reduction of most PA activities representing an active life were found. The result was especially evident for women, older peo- ple, and for a particular person category.


Conclusions: The results offer evidence of a shift to a medical model and indicate a risk of social exclu- sion due to fewer activities representing an active life. An increase on average of 16h of PA over the period studied does not guarantee access to an active life and may indicate a marginal utility. The noted decline of PA for participation in society enhances the importance of monitoring content aspects to fulfil Article 19 of the UNCRPD.

When differences are made into likenesses: the normative documentation and assessment culture of the preschool

KARLSUDD, Peter
2021

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This article is based on studies carried out within the Young children’s learning research education programme. This undertaking involved five graduate students, all recruited from the Swedish preschool system. The licentiate thesis makes up the final product of their education programme, and the focus of each candidate’s licentiate thesis was preschool-level documentation. Using the results of all five theses, a re-analysis was conducted with the concept of normality as the common starting point. The purpose was to investigate whether documentation and assessment can change the view of normality in preschools, and furthermore, what consequences there may be for preschool activity. ‘The narrow preschool and the wide preschool’ is the model used to support the analysis, which is a model used in previous studies to review and discuss educational choices and conditions in the school system. Results of the present investigation show that the documents and assessments performed in preschool have a strong focus on the individual child and a traditional, school-oriented learning is highly valued. The documentation and assessment practices that take place now in our preschools, therefore, most likely influence the preschool view of normality and restrict the acceptance of differences.

Participation and engagement in family activities among girls and young women with Rett syndrome living at home with their parents – a cross-sectional study

KRUSE GYLDHOF, Ditte
STAHLHUT, Michelle
EJLERSEN WAEHRENS, Eva
February 2021

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Purpose: To describe the extent of participation and engagement in family activities and explore variables potentially impacting on these factors in family activities among girls and young women with Rett syndrome (RTT) under the age of 21.

 

Materials and methods: The Child Participation in Family Activities (Child-PFA) questionnaire was sent to parents in the target group (n = 42). Additionally, age, number of siblings at home, ambulation level, clinical severity and level of hand function were recorded to explore possible impact. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Fishers exact test and cross-tables.

 

Results: 23 families participated. Highest degrees of participation and engagement were seen in social and stationary family activities. Indoor activities were frequent and showed high levels of participation and engagement, Outdoor activities were infrequent and showed low levels of participation despite a high degree of engagement. Routine activities were frequent but showed moderate to low participation and engagement. A negative association was found between participation in watching a movie and number of siblings living at home, and positive associations between engagement and age in three family activities.

 

Conclusion: Therapists working with this target group may benefit from focusing on engagement in routine activities and modification of family activities.

Bullying among primary school-aged students: which factors could strengthen their tendency towards resilience?

GANOTZ, Tanja
SCHWAB, Susanne
LEHOFER, Mike
2021

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Resilience is the capacity to cope successfully with various threats. This paper aims to adapt the Resilience-Scale of Schumacher et al. (2004. Die Resilienzskala – ein Fragebogen zur Erfassung der psychischen Widerstandsfähigkeit als Personmerkmal. [The Resilience Scale – A Questionnaire to Measure Mental Resilience as a Personal Characteristic]. Zentrum für Klinische Psychologie, Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie) to measure the tendency of being resilient even before a threat occurs. Since primary school students are exposed to various threats at school, 535 4th grade students of Austrian primary schools were surveyed for the study. The reliability of the short-scale was found to be acceptable (Cronbach’s α = .66), and the tendency towards resilience can be explained by the students’ perception of their social inclusion in class (F (1,252) = 15.11, p<.05) and the relationship with their mothers (F (2, 251) = 10, 02, p<.05). The stability of the students’ tendency of being resilient was only moderate. A similar correlation between resilience and school-wellbeing for victims and non-victims of bullying can be reported. Future studies should focus more on primary school students’ resilience and related protective factors.

The invisible minority: why do textbook authors avoid people with disabilities in their books?

JENSEN, Magne Skibsted
HERREBRØDEN, Marte
ANDREASSEN, Ulf Rune
2021

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Representation of disability in school textbooks may influence pupils’ knowledge and perceptions of people with disabilities. The aim of this study was to investigate representation of people with disabilities in school textbooks. The study employed a mixed-methods approach. Quantitative frequency analysis was used to investigate the extent of representation of disabilities in texts and pictures in 78 Norwegian textbooks for Grades 5–10. Regarding texts, the results showed that people with disabilities were represented in less than half of these textbooks (49%). Concerning pictures, people with disabilities were even less represented, appearing in only 29% of the textbooks. These quantitative findings were supplemented by a qualitative survey of textbook authors, who were asked to explain the marked absence of disability references in their own books and in school textbooks in general. The two most frequent explanations were that textbook authors had either overlooked people with disabilities, or that the Norwegian National Curriculum (Kunnskapsdepartementet 2006. Lærerplanverket for Kunnskapsløftet (LK06) [The Norwegian National Curriculum]. https://www.udir.no/lk20/overordnet-del/) did not explicitly mention this minority. We discuss these explanations as expressions of conscious considerations rather than unconscious omissions.

Social classroom climate and personalised instruction as predictors of students’ social participation

ZURBRIGGEN, Carmen L A
HOFMANN, Verena
LEHOFER, Mike
SCHWAB, Susanne
2021

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Previous research has repeatedly confirmed that students with special educational needs (SEN) are generally less accepted by their peers. Although inclusive teaching strategies and classroom characteristics are frequently hypothesised to improve students’ social participation, empirical evidence is scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate classroom characteristics and teaching practices that can help foster social participation, in general, and reduce the effect of lower social participation among students with SEN, in particular. The sample includes 518 students in 31 Grade 4 and 7 classes from Austria, of whom 99 are students with SEN. The results show that students with SEN receive fewer peer nominations and perceive their social participation to be lower compared to their peers without SEN. However, the association between SEN and self-perceived social participation is moderated by the social classroom climate, i.e. the difference becomes smaller when the social classroom climate is more positive. Furthermore, the higher the personalised instruction was rated by a student, the higher was his or her social status. The results suggest that interventions should focus not only on the improvement of individual students (with SEN) but also on changing the whole classroom environment.

Impact of Visual Impairment and Correction on Vision-Related Quality of Life: Comparing People with Different Levels of Visual Acuity in Indonesia

WIDAGDO, T M M
RAPPUN, Y
GANDRUNG, A V
WIBOWO, E
2021

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Purpose: This study assessed the extent to which visual impairment impacts on vision-related quality of life in Indonesia, by comparing four groups of people: those with 1) normal vision, 2) corrected visual impairment, 3) uncorrected visual impairment, and 4) blindness.

 

Method: Purposive sampling was used. There were 162 respondents, between 21 and 86 years of age. Participants with normal vision and blindness were community-dwellers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Those with corrected and uncorrected visual impairment were recruited from an eye clinic. This cross- sectional study used NEI VFQ-25 to assess vision-related quality of life. The total scores and 11 NEI VFQ-25 subscales scores of four respondent groups were analysed using ANOVA, followed by post-hoc analyses to reveal between group differences.

 

Results: There was a significant difference in the NEI VFQ-25 total scores among the four respondent groups. Respondents with normal vision had the highest score and those with blindness had the lowest. There were also significant differences among the four groups for the 11 subscales. Post-hoc analyses revealed no significant difference between respondents with normal vision and corrected visual impairment in the total and 9 NEI VFQ-25 subscales. Respondents with uncorrected visual impairment and blindness had significantly lower vision- related quality of life compared to those with normal vision or corrected visual impairment in the total and 5 NEI VFQ-25 subscales, indicating that visual impairment decreases vision-related quality of life.

 

Conclusion: Visual impairment has a detrimental impact on a person’s vision- related quality of life. The negative impact of visual impairment can be minimised by correction. Failure to correct visual impairment leads to significantly lowervision-related quality of life.

Barriers to Utilisation of Dental Services among Children with Disabilities in a Coordinated Healthcare Programme in Mangalore, South India: A Mixed Methods Study

SURESH, L R
RAI, K
HEGDE, A M
DSOUZA, C V
2021

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Purpose: Unmet oral health needs affect the quality of life of individuals, especially if they are already at a disadvantage like children with special health care needs. Strategies to mitigate these disparities in India’s diverse healthcare settings have hitherto been largely ineffective. This study was aimed to assess the utilisation and barriers to the use of dental health services among children with special health care needs, against the background of a coordinated healthcare programme implemented in Nitte (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, India.

 

Method: The study was conducted over a 6-month period, from September 2018 to February 2019. A mixed-methods design was concurrently employed for data collection. Utilisation of dental services was assessed quantitatively, and the barriers to dental services utilisation were assessed qualitatively through caregiver interviews, with a sequential data integration strategy.

 

Results: The quantitative data revealed gross underutilisation of dental resources by children (only 16% availed some form of dental treatment), and the prevalence of avoidance behaviour (63% showed reluctance and did not turn up for appointments). Restorative needs formed the highest unmet dental component among the children (67% required secondary dental care). In-depth interviews with the children’s caregivers revealed that the presence of cognitive barriers could have a direct effect on the time and quality of dental care delivered to their children.

 

Conclusion: Cognitive barriers among caregivers appear to have a profound impact on the underutilisation of dental services in their children with special healthcare needs. These barriers may be addressed within the integrated healthcare programme and the dental curricula through provisions for continued individual and community dental education, and motivational efforts that simultaneously target the caregivers and their children with special healthcare needs.

Employers' Attitudes and Hiring Intentions towards Persons with Disabilities in Hotels

PIRAMANAYAGAM, S
SEAL, P P
2021

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Purpose: The hospitality industry is labour intensive. Currently, in India, hotels have a high employee attrition rate. This study aimed to explore the attitudes of hotel managers towards recruiting persons with disabilities as employees, a move which could benefit all concerned.

 

Method: A structured survey instrument was sent to 31 employers in star category hotels.

 

Results: Employers’ attitudes have a significant influence on the recruitment of persons with disabilities. While the intention to hire persons with disabilities is positively associated with quality of work, loyalty, and dependability, it can also be negatively associated with lack of skill, work experience, poor time management and absenteeism.

 

Conclusion: It is concluded that employers hire person with disabilities to work in hotels as they are more reliable and loyal towards the organisation. This attitude from the side of employees with disabilities will also help to overcome the problem of high employee attrition that has a deleterious effect on profitability in the service industry.

 

Limitation: The data is collected from hotels in a single city, which may limit the generalisation of the findings.

The Quality of Life and Associated Factors in Indonesian Meningioma Clients after Surgery: A Cross-Sectional Study

GANEFIANTY, A
IRAWATI, D
DAHLIA, D
KARIASA, I M
SUTIONO, A B
2021

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Purpose: The quality of life (QOL) of meningioma clients in Indonesia is poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate and examine the factors associated with the QOL of these meningioma clients after surgery, in order to help create an appropriate post-operative nursing intervention.

 

Method: This was a cross-sectional study. The QOL data was collected from a sample of 118 clients, using a EuroQol-5D-5L (EQ-5D-5L) questionnaire. Functional status, fatigue, illness perception and social support were assessed by the Barthel Index, FACIT-Fatigue Scale, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, and Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey-6, respectively. Statistical analyses were conducted using the Chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, and logistic regression test.

 

Results: After surgery, more than half of the 118 clients reported “ problems” in the EQ-5D dimensions of mobility (65%), self-care (57%), usual activities (70%), pain/discomfort (84%), and anxiety/depression (70%).The average postoperative EQ-5D index value (±SD) was 0.55 ± 0.26 while the median of EQ-VAS was 69.2 (IQR 40–90).Factors related to low QOL were age (p = 0.014), tumour grade (p = 0.0001), functional status (p = 0.0001), fatigue (p= 0.001), illness perception ( p = 0.0001), and social support (p = 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that the most dominant factor associated with QOL was functional status (OR 6.728; Confidence interval=95%; p=0.008).

 

Conclusion and Implications:There is a correlation between age, tumour grade, functional status, fatigue, illness perception, and social support with the QOL of postoperative meningioma clients. The study recommends that these be included in their nursing assessment and an appropriate nursing rehabilitation programme be planned in order to improve their QOL.

Academic Outcomes and Coping Mechanisms of Children using Cochlear Implants in Mainstream Schools in Kerala, India

GEORGE, A
JOY, J M
SREEKUMAR, S
2021

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Purpose: The aim of the present study was to understand the academic outcomes of children using cochlear implants in mainstream schools in Kerala, India and to explore the compensatory strategies used by them to overcome the difficultiesfaced in classrooms.

 

Method: Thirty-one children using cochlear implants who were attending first and second grades in mainstream schools, and their parents and teachers participated in the study. Teachers were asked to rate a questionnaire, “Teachers’ Perceptions of Academic Outcomes”, which consisted of five sections – oral comprehension, oral expression, reading, writing and mathematics. The performance of the children using cochlear implants was compared with the performance of typically hearing children in the class. The grades obtained in the previous examination were also used for the comparison. Information was collected regarding difficulties faced by the children inside the classroom and their strategies to overcome the challenges.

 

Results: The class teachers rated the performance of 71 % of these children as ‘above average’. Though the academic outcomes were found to be good on the questionnaire and classroom tests, most of the children with cochlear implantsfaced various difficulties and had used different compensatory strategies to give their optimum performance in the classroom.

 

Conclusion: The study emphasizes the importance of having mid- and long-term follow-ups with children using cochlear implants, even after mainstreaming. It is necessary to orient and train teachers about the needs of these children and to implement support strategies in mainstream schools.

Training of Mid-Level Rehabilitation Workers for Community-Based Rehabilitation Programmes

GHOSH, R
PALANIVELU, V
TEBBUTT, E
DEEPAK, S
2021

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Purpose: There is a lack of trained rehabilitation professionals, especially in the small towns and rural areas of low and middle income countries. In India, a cadre of mid-level rehabilitation workers, the Rehabilitation Therapy Assistants (RTAs), are being trained by Mobility India, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). This paper aims to assess impact of their training and experiences after the training.

 

Method: Data were collected from 3 different initiatives connected with the trained RTAs: an impact assessment of their training; interviews with RTAs during an evaluation; and a survey of 188 RTAs trained between 2002 and 2019.

 

Results: RTAs were shown to have good skills to provide rehabilitation interventions in the field and are appreciated by clients and other stakeholders. Most of the RTAs work for NGOs in CBR programmes, and in private hospitals and clinics. There does not seem to be a role for them in government services in most countries. The number of trained RTAs remains small in spite of the large needs. This may be due to lack of an accreditation system for RTAs and the low priority given to rehabilitation services in general in some countries.

 

Conclusions: The results provide useful information to strengthen RTA training courses. Training RTAs to provide rehabilitation services in smaller towns and rural areas of low and middle income countries can have a good impact through CBR programmes. However, this impact remains circumscribed to small areas where NGOs are active. Changes are needed in health systems for the inclusion of mid-level rehabilitation workers in primary health care services.

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