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Users’ satisfaction with assistive devices in Afghanistan

MOHAPATRA, Bikram Keshari
2019

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Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess users’ satisfaction and effectiveness of assistive devices in four regions of Afghanistan, namely Mazar-e-Sharif, Ghazni, Jalalabad and Taloqan.

 

Method: A random sample of 785 users, who were provided with 874 mobility and assistive devices in four regional prosthetic and orthotic workshops of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), participated in the study.

 

Results: The study revealed that the majority of the participants rated the assistive devices as very useful. While 45% of respondents even described them as excellent, 49% expressed a good level of satisfaction with the services they received at treatment centres. Similarly, the majority of respondents (67%) mentioned a maximum level of improvement, while 15% claimed to have witnessed some improvement in their physical condition. Fitting, comfort, and ease of use, along with durability, weight and appearance were rated as the most important factors of assistive devices. On the other hand, slow service and limited access to maintenance and repair facilities were identified as reasons for dissatisfaction.

 

Conclusion: The study provided continuous and valuable information to rehabilitation professionals regarding device effectiveness and satisfaction. The findings also recommended a stronger focus on comfort and usefulness of mobility and assistive devices. Lastly, the study suggested that lack of local device-repair service needs to be addressed by rehabilitation professionals. 

Enabling appropriate personnel skill-mix for progressive realization of equitable access to assistive technology

SMITH, Emma M
GOWRAN, Rosemary Joan
MANNAN, Hasheem
DONNELLY, Brian
ALVAREZ, Liliana
BELL, Diane
CONTEPOMI, Silvana
ENNION (WEGNER), Liezel
HOOGERWERF, Evert-Jan
HOWE, Tracey
JAN, Yih-Kuen
KAGWIZA, Jeanne
LAYTON, Natasha
LEDGERD, Ritchard
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
OGGERO, Giulia
PETTERSSON, Cecilia
POUSADA, Thais
SCHEFFLER, Elsje
WU, Sam
2018

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Background and Methods: This paper reviews the current capacity of personnel in enabling access to assistive technology (AT) as well as the systems and processes within which they work, and was reviewed, discussed, and refined during and following the Global Research, Innovation, and Education in Assistive Technology (GREAT) Summit.

 

Findings: Key concepts addressed include a person-centred team approach; sustainability indicators to monitor, measure, and respond to needs for service design and delivery; education, research, and training for competent practice, using the six rehab-workforce challenges framework; and credentialing frameworks. We propose development of a competence framework and associated education and training programs, and development and implementation of a certification framework for AT personnel.

 

Conclusions: There is a resolve to address the challenges faced by People globally to access assistive technology. Context specific needs assessment is required to understand the AT Personnel landscape, to shape and strengthen credentialing frameworks through competencies and certification, acknowledging both general and specific skill mix requirements.

The intersection of disability and food security: Perspectives of health and humanitarian aid workers

QUARMBY, Candice A.
PILLAY, Mershen
2018

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Background: Most people with disabilities the world over can be found in the Majority (or ‘economically developing’) World. This is also where most of the world’s hungry and malnourished are found. We argue that the intersectionality between disability and nutrition may best be understood through a food security framework, and we position all people living with disability, including those experiencing feeding and swallowing disabilities, as at risk for food insecurity, especially those living in humanitarian emergency contexts.

 

Objectives: This study aimed to explore and describe the knowledge and experience of humanitarian aid workers (HAWs) and health care professionals (HCPs) in food assistance contexts with regard to the nutrition and food security of people living with disabilities.

 

Method: In this exploratory, descriptive study, 16 participants with experience in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia participated in an online survey. Three survey participants with extensive experience were also interviewed. Data analysis involved descriptive statistics and thematic content analysis.

 

Results: Results revealed that participants had generally low levels of exposure to and experience with disability, including swallowing and feeding disorders.

 

Conclusions: Reduced knowledge of HAWs and HCPs regarding disability and the lack of professionals such as speech–language therapists, who manage disability-specific issues such as feeding and swallowing disorders, may affect the food security of people living with disabilities in food assistance contexts.

Compliance with standards of practice for health-related rehabilitation in low and middle-income settings: development and implementation of a novel scoring method

PRYOR, Wesley
NEWAR, Pushpak
RETIS, Chiara
URSEAU, Isabelle
April 2018

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Purpose: To (A) develop a method for measuring compliance with standards, and (B) implementation of the method in 12 rehabilitation centers in six low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

 

Methods: In part A, existing standards were compiled and operationalized into scores, organized into 5 ‘scorecards’ and 15 ‘sub-scorecards’, then tested and refined in an iterative process. In part B, 12 rehabilitation centers in 6 countries implemented the standards using the new method, revealing relative performance between centers, and across different standards. Internal consistency of scores within domains was computed using Chronbach’s alpha.

 

Results: A standardized method for scoring compliance with standards for rehabilitation was developed. The method evaluated compliance with standards in five domains of practice: user focused approach, service outputs, finances, staff, and general management. Multiple standards within domains were strongly related, with Chronbach’s alpha >0.80 for all but the equipment and supplies domain. Overall, in the 12 rehabilitation centers examined, 36% of standards were met or exceeded. Compliance within each scoring domain was 56% (user-focused approach), 38% (service outputs), 27% (financial management), 30% (staff management), and 33% (general management). Two out of 12 (17%) of centers met more than two-thirds of the standards, 3 (25%) met more than one-third of standards, while the remaining 7 (58%) met less than one-third of standards.

 

Conclusions: A new, standardized method for measuring performance of rehabilitation services in LMICs was developed. The method examines standards in five rehabilitation practice domains, and can be used to understand barriers to quality performance, particularly in resource-constrained settings. Implementation of the method demonstrated that current compliance with standards is modest. Ongoing interest in new standards for rehabilitation practice should be accompanied by measures to ensure they are used to strengthen quality in an emerging rehabilitation sector.

‘I felt pain. Deep pain…’: Experiences of primary caregivers of stroke survivors with aphasia in a South African township

MASUKU, Khetsiwe P.
MOPHOSHO, Munyane
TSHABALALA, Muziwakhe
2018

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Background: Aphasia is an acquired impairment in language and in the cognitive processes that underlie language. Aphasia affects the quality of life of the person with aphasia (PWA) and his or her families in various ways in diverse contexts and cultures. It is therefore important that speech language therapists understand how different contextual and cultural factors may mediate experiences.


Purpose: The aim of the study was to describe the caregiving experience of female caregivers of PWA residing in Tembisa, a township situated in the east of Johannesburg.


Method: Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with primary caregivers of PWA. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 14 primary caregivers of PWA who were daughters, daughters-in-law or wives of the PWA. The interviews were conducted in participants’ first language and analysed by the researcher, who is proficient in isiZulu. Data were analysed according to the principles of thematic analysis.


Results: Findings indicated that caregivers are unfamiliar with aphasia and the support available to them. Participants experienced frustration and found communication to be challenging owing to their lack of communication strategies. The participants’ experiences reflected their context-specific experiences, such as feminisation of caregiving, barriers to healthcare, the influence of low health literacy and contextual perspectives on stroke and aphasia.


Conclusions: Contextual factors of caregivers in Tembisa have an influence on the experiences between caregivers and PWA, the feelings of individuals and families and health-seeking behaviours of individuals and families.

Communication rehabilitation in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of speech and language therapists

WYLIE, Karen
MCALLISTER, Lindy
DAVIDSON, Bronwyn
MARSHALL, Julie
2018

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Background: Workforce factors present a significant barrier to the development of rehabilitation services for people with communication disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Exploring how the work of speech and language therapists (SLTs) in the region is organised and delivered can provide insight into existing services, areas for future workforce development and improved rehabilitation access for people with communication disability.


Objectives: This paper describes the employment and service provision patterns and work roles of a sample of SLTs in SSA.


Method: A broad, purpose-designed, mixed-methods survey was designed to collect data from SLTs living in Anglophone countries of SSA. Descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis were undertaken. This paper reports on a subset of data from the wider survey.


Results: A description of the employment and work roles of the 33 respondents to the survey and characteristics of their service users is presented. SLTs were commonly employed within private and not-for-profit sectors and frequently worked in temporary jobs. SLTs engaged in a range of work roles, including capacity building and training others. Services were provided by SLTs across age ranges, health conditions and settings, with paediatric, urban services commonly reported. Costs for service users and urban-centred services give indications of barriers to service access.


Conclusion: Knowledge of the way in which speech and language therapy services are organised and provided has the potential to shape the development of communication disability rehabilitation in SSA. This research has identified a range of issues requiring consideration as the profession develops and grows.

Audiology and speech-language pathology: Practitioners’ reflections on indigeneity, disability and neo-colonial marketing

PILLAY, Mershen
KATHARD, Harsha
2018

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Indigenous peoples are part of those populations who are underserved by Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. They include minority world populations like Aboriginal Australians/Canadians and majority world peoples in Asia, Africa and the Americas. How do Western-oriented rehabilitation/disability practitioners practice with Others? In this article, we reflect on our own experiences and use ideological critique to reveal the fault lines in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology practices. Along with other examples, we analyse South African data, viz.: canonical articles as illuminators and our works (c1990-). We reveal predominant practices/ideologies that contribute to the production of disability. We focus on three interconnected issues (i) the construction of rehabilitation/disability practitioners as (il)legitimate providers for indigenous peoples; (ii) the engagement of epistemic violence across disability practice, educational and policy domains; and (iii) the authoritative (re)inscription of indigenous persons as disabled by transnational practitioners who, like their corporate counterparts, market practices. Professional marketeering is infused with bigotry, masked as benevolence and resourced/justified by global, neo-liberal policies (e.g., international conventions) and funding. We conclude that disability practices and indigeneity in the post-colonial moment capitalises on established settler-native relationships to continue dominance over Others’ lives. Finally, we present a way forward, namely the relationship of Labouring Affinities which promotes deimperialisation and decolonisation practices to enable professional transformation.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2

Wheelchair service provision education and training in low and lower middle income countries: a scoping review

McSweeney, Elizabeth
GOWRAN, Rosemary Joan
November 2017

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This review considers education and training available to personnel who provide wheelchair and seating assistive technology to meet personal posture and mobility requirements within low and lower middle income countries (LLMIC), to ascertain where gaps in knowledge exist and identify human resource education priorities. A scoping review, mapping out existing scientific and grey literature within the field between 1993 and 2017 was conducted.

https://doi.org/10.1080/17483107.2017.1392621

Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Volume 14, 2019 - Issue 1

Wheelchair service provision education in academia

FUNG, Karen H.
RUSHTON, Paula W.
GARTZ, Rachel
GOLDBERG, Mary
TORO, Maria L.
SEYMOUR, Nicky
PEARLMAN, Jonathan
2017

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Background: An estimated 70 million people with disabilities need wheelchairs. To address this global crisis, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed an eight-step wheelchair service provision model to ensure service quality regardless of resource setting. The International Society of Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP) aims to facilitate the integration of the WHO eight-step model into professional rehabilitation programmes.


Objective: To develop an enhanced understanding of the current wheelchair service provision education provided in professional rehabilitation programmes worldwide.


Methods: In a cross-sectional design, an online survey was distributed to ISWP contacts of educational institutions. Quantitative responses were analysed through summary statistics and qualitative answers were analysed by content analyses. When relevant, educational institutions were stratified into resource settings.


Results: Seventy-two representatives of educational institutions in 21 countries completed the survey. Wheelchair content was taught in 79% of represented institutions, of which 75% of respondents reported using original course material, 10% of respondents used WHO Wheelchair Service Training Packages and 15% of respondents used other available resources. The majority of educational institutions teaching with their own wheelchair-related course material taught ≤ 20 hours. Fourteen of the 15 respondents without wheelchair education, expressed an interest in integrating wheelchair education into their academic curricula.


Conclusion: The majority of the educational institutions teach wheelchair education; however, there is great variability in what and how it is taught and evaluated. The results demonstrate the need for more in-depth investigation regarding the integration process of wheelchair education in educational institutions, with the ultimate goal of improving wheelchair service provision worldwide.

Effect of Multidisciplinary Intervention on Clinical Outcomes of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mumbai, India

DALWAI, S H
MODAK, D K
BONDRE, A P
ANSARI, S
SIDDIQUI, D
GAJRIA, D
2017

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Purpose: To analyse clinical outcomes in terms of functional changes in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), before and after receiving a multidisciplinary developmental intervention programme.

 

Methods: Structured goal-oriented multidisciplinary intervention, individualised to each child, was implemented through 5 child development centres in Mumbai, India, in 2014-2015. Secondary data analysis of 38 children diagnosed with ASD, in the age group of 2.1 - 6.1 years, was conducted. All children received occupational therapy and speech therapy, and parental counselling was also done. The average number of intervention sessions were 48-72 for occupational therapy (twice or thrice a week), 24-48 for speech therapy (once or twice a week) and 5-6 for parental counselling (once a month). Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and Vineland Social Maturity Scale (VSMS) were used for assessment, before and after intervention.

 

Results: Mean positive difference in CARS total scores through paired t-test was 4.18 (p < 0.0001). Significant positive changes in functional ability were observed in most of the sub-scales (relating to people; object use; visual response; verbal and non-verbal communication; taste, smell and touch response and use; level and consistency of intellectual response and general impression). Paired t-test also showed significant positive changes on all VSMS sub-scales, exceptSocialisation.

 

Conclusions: The model used in this multidisciplinary intervention, and adherence to its protocols, has the potential to improve functional ability (or the child’s adaptation to his/her condition) in children with ASD, in a region with limited awareness of developmental disabilities.

 

Limitations: Separate effects of factors outside the intervention could not be tested due to inadequate sample sizes for sub-analyses. Results also need to be validated by tests that do not depend on parental reporting (e.g., CARS and VSMS) but assess the performance of the child instead.

The development and evaluation of content validity of the Zambia Spina Bifida Functional Measure: Preliminary studies

MWESHI, Margaret M.
AMOSUN, Seyi L.
SHILALUKEY-NGOMA, Mary P.
MUNALULA-NKANDU, Esther
KAFAAR, Zuhayr
2017

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Background: Very little is known on outcome measures for children with spina bifida (SB) in Zambia. If rehabilitation professionals managing children with SB in Zambia and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa are to instigate measuring outcomes routinely, a tool has to be made available. The main objective of this study was to develop an appropriate and culturally sensitive instrument for evaluating the impact of the interventions on children with SB in Zambia.


Methods: A mixed design method was used for the study. Domains were identified retrospectively and confirmation was done through a systematic review study. Items were generated through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Qualitative data were downloaded, translated into English, transcribed verbatim and presented. These were then placed into categories of the main domains of care deductively through the process of manifest content analysis. Descriptive statistics, alpha coefficient and index of content validity were calculated using SPSS.


Results: Self-care, mobility and social function were identified as main domains, while participation and communication were sub-domains. A total of 100 statements were generated and 78 items were selected deductively. An alpha coefficient of 0.98 was computed and experts judged the items.


Conclusions: The new functional measure with an acceptable level of content validity titled Zambia Spina Bifida Functional Measure (ZSBFM) was developed. It was designed to evaluate effectiveness of interventions given to children with SB from the age of 6 months to 5 years. Psychometric properties of reliability and construct validity were tested and are reported in another study.

CBR Workers' Training Needs for People with Communication Disability

YEAP, Choo Er
IBRAHIM, Hasherah
VAN DORT, Sandra
AHMAD, Kartini
YASIN, Md Syahrulikram
2017

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Aims:  In order for speech-language pathologists to work better together with CBR workers, there is a necessity to understand what they perceive as their training needs for people with communication disability (PWCD).

 

Method:  In 2013, a cross-sectional written survey was conducted with 421 Malaysian workers, using convenient sampling and a mixed-method approach. 

 

Results:  In-depth information on training needs from descriptive analysis of quantitative data and content analysis of qualitative data were obtained and discussed. 

 

Conclusion:  This study, although not generalizable, builds up the literature on worker training needs in developing countries, and would be of benefit for speech-language pathologists and worker trainers.

Community stakeholders’ perspectives on the role of occupational therapy in primary healthcare: Implications for practice

NAIDOO, Deshini
Van WYK, Jacqueline
JOUBER, Robin
2017

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Background: Primary healthcare (PHC) is central to increased access and transformation in South African healthcare. There is limited literature about services required by occupational therapists in PHC. Despite policy being in place, the implementation of services at grassroots level does not always occur adequately.

 

Objectives: This study aimed at gaining an understanding of the challenges of being disabled and the services required by occupational therapists (OTs) in rural communities in order to better inform the occupational therapy (OT) training curriculum. 

 

Method: An exploratory, descriptive qualitative design was implemented using purposive sampling to recruit 23 community healthcare workers from the uGu district. Snowball sampling was used to recruit 37 members of the uGu community, which included people with disability (PWD) and caregivers of PWDs. Audio-recorded focus groups and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data, which were thematically analysed. Ethical approval was obtained from the Biomedical and Research Ethics Committee of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (BE248/14).


Results: Two main themes emerged namely: firstly, the challenges faced by the disabled community and secondly appropriate opportunities for intervention in PHC. A snapshot of the social and physical inaccessibility challenges experienced by the community was created. Challenges included physical and sexual abuse, discrimination and marginalisation. Community-based rehabilitation and ideas for health promotion and prevention were identified as possible strategies for OT intervention.
Conclusion: The understanding of the intervention required by OT in PHC was enhanced through obtaining the views of various stakeholders’ on the role. This study highlighted the gaps in community-based services that OTs should offer in this context.
 

Physical environments and community reintegration post stroke: qualitative insights from stroke clubs

BROOKFIELD, Katherine
MEAD, Gillian
2016

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This study investigated the environment’s role in community reintegration amongst persons with experience of stroke. Focus group discussions with 29 individuals recruited from community stroke clubs in Scotland revealed that stroke influenced a person’s perceptions, experience, use and enjoyment of the environment. Multiple specific (e.g. theatres, cafes) and more general (out-of-the- home) environments appeared capable of supporting community reintegration, providing settings in which individuals were able and willing to interact with others and participate in various functional, social and recreational activities. The article reflects on the study’s implications for policy and practice.

Concurrent Validity of Mobility Disability Scale among Community-dwelling Individuals

Manikandan, Natarajan
Kumar, K B
Rajashekhar, B
2016

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Purpose: A new Mobility Disability Scale (MDS) has been developed to assess the level of mobility disability among community-dwelling individuals. For it to be used effectively, a systematic evaluation of the psychometric properties isrequired. This study was conducted to determine the concurrent validity of the MDS among community-dwelling individuals, as compared to the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Functional Assessment Measure (FAM).

 

Method: Based on the survey of a semi-urban community, purposive sampling was used to select 52 individuals with mobility disability. All of them were evaluated using MDS and FIM FAM scales at the same time. Spearman’s Rankcorrelation coefficient was used to analyse the correlation of MDS scores with the FIM FAM scale scores.

 

Results: MDS scores had statistically significant negative correlation with FIM FAM total scale scores (r= -0.711) and the correlation was stronger when analysed with the mobility components of FIM FAM scales (r= -0.724).

 

Conclusion: The MDS possesses moderate concurrent validity with an existing functional scale. This indicates that it may be a suitable tool to quantify the level of mobility disability in persons with disability living in community.

 

Limitation: The psychosocial domain, though important, could not be compared with any gold standard measures due to unavailability of suitable scales.

Living with disabled children in Malawi: Challenges and rewards

BARLINDHAUG, Grete
UMAR, Eric
WAZAKILI, Margaret
EMAUS, Nina
2016

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Background: Rehabilitation personnel need to be sensitive to the cultural aspects that constitute the environment of a disabled child’s family life.

 

Objectives: The aim of this study was to gain insight on how families experience parenting of disabled children and how the families experience the support provided by the rehabilitation system in Malawi.

 

Method: An anthropological field study combining interviews and observations was conducted in a rural district of Malawi in 2011. Permission was granted to follow four families, and this study presents the stories of two families, whose children have severe disabilities. We used phenomenological and narrative analyses to make sense of the stories.

 

Results: The findings indicate that families with disabled children invest time and emphasise care for their disabled children. They feel enriched by their experience despite challenging situations with little support from the rehabilitation services. High standards of care demonstrating positive and moral attitudes have earned these families respect in their communities. Storytelling has created an opportunity for the families to understand and interpret their challenging situation with inherent contextual meaning.

 

Conclusion: This study shows that families with disabled children draw on cultural and structural strengths that rehabilitation professionals should be aware of in their support to mothers and other caregivers of children with disabilities.

How are service users instructed to measure home furniture for provision of minor assistive devices?

ATWAL, Anita
MCINTYRE, Anne
SPILIOTOPOULOU, Georgia
MONEY, Arthur
PARASKEVOPULOS, Ioannis
2016

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Purpose: Measurements play a vital role in providing devices that meet the individual needs of users. There is increasing evidence of devices being abandoned. The reasons for this are complex but one key factor that plays a role in non-use of equipment is the lack of fit between the device, environment and person. In addition, the abandonment of devices can be seen as a waste of public money. The aim of this paper is to examine the type, the readability, and the content of existing guidance in relation to measuring home furniture.

 

Method: An online national survey involving health and social care trusts in the UK. We conducted a synthesis of leaflets associated with measurement of furniture to identify existing guidance. The content and readability of this guidance was then evaluated.

 

Results: From the 325 responses received, 64 therapists reported using guidance. From the 13 leaflets that were analysed, 8 leaflets were found to meet Level 3 Adult Literacy Standards (age 9–11). There were differences in the way in which the measurement of furniture items occurred within the leaflets with no measurement guidance reported for baths.

 

Conclusion: There is a need to standardize guidance to ensure that measurements are reliable.

Assessment of Rehabilitation Capacity in Ghana

Christian, Asare
et al
2016

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Purpose: This study describes a cross-sectional assessment of infrastructure, human resources, and types of rehabilitation interventions provided in a sample of healthcare facilities in Ghana. The objectives were to (a) develop and pilot a questionnaire assessing rehabilitation capacity in LMICs, and (b) provide initial data regarding available rehabilitation care in rural Ghana.

 

Methods: Data was collected from a sample of rehabilitation workers at 9 facilities, comprised of 5 regional and 4 district hospitals, located in seven of the ten geographical regions of Ghana. Participants completed a modified version of the World Health Organisation's Tool for Situational Analysis to Assess Emergency and Essential Surgical Care, adapted to reflect core indicators of rehabilitation infrastructure. Participating facilities were mailed questionnaires and agreed to subsequent site visits from the first author.

 

Results: There were several limitations associated with basic rehabilitation infrastructure. Consistent with previous research, significant human resources limitations were observed as hospital-based rehabilitation services were primarily rendered by 20 physiotherapists and 21 physiotherapy assistants across the 9 participating sites. No rehabilitation physicians were identified at any of the surveyed facilities. With regard to therapeutic interventions, management of musculoskeletal impairments was generally consistent with current evidence- based practices, whereas rehabilitative approaches for neurologic conditions were limited to physical rather than sensory-motor modalities.

 

Conclusions: For the first time there is study data which details the rehabilitation infrastructure, human resources, and interventions in Ghana. This study furthers the field through the adaptation and initial piloting of a rehabilitation assessment instrument that can be used in LMIC contexts.

 

Limitations: The questionnaire used for the study was modified from the questionnaire for assessing surgical care in resource poor countries, and has not yet been validated. Since the study was conducted in a convenience sample of rehabilitation/physiotherapy centres in Ghana, generalisability may be limited.

National guidelines on the provision of assistive technology in Papua New Guinea. Zero draft – April 2016

BRENTHALL, Lee
et al
April 2016

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The purpose of these National Guidelines for the Provision of Assistive Technologies (AT) in PNG is to provide a framework for a national standard of care in appropriate AT provision, for women, men, girls and boys with mobility, hearing and vision impairments, regardless of their age, location, ethnicity, and socio-economic background. It is hoped that these Guidelines will help ensure that users receive appropriate and affordable AT that suit their needs, daily activities and lifestyles, while satisfying minimum requirements for safety, strength and durability, and that service providers are trained in all steps of the service provision cycle.

Development of a contextually appropriate, reliable and valid basic Wheelchair Service Provision Test

GARTZ, Rachel
GOLDBERG, Mary
MILES, Alexandria
MILES, Rory
PEARLMAN, Jon
SCHMELER, Mark
BITTMAN, Sarah Jonassen
HALE, Judith
2016

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Purpose:

Currently, there is no internationally accepted way to measure the competency of wheelchair service professionals. The International Society of Wheelchair Professionals aims to develop a Wheelchair Service Provision – Basic Test as a preliminary step towards establishing a certification process. 

 

Method:

A team of wheelchair service provision experts developed test questions and conducted alpha and beta testing in order to validate them. Low-performing test items were eliminated. A pilot test was then conducted, which focused on developing a pass score, determining language barriers and validating the test as a measure of competency. 

 

Results:

90 participants completed one of three versions of the Wheelchair Service Provision – Basic Test. A pass score of 70% was established and 135 questions were accepted for the final test. Analysis of variance indicated there was a difference in scores based on language (p = 0.001), but not based on experience level. This result motivated translation in to the United Nations’ official languages.

 

Conclusions:

The results indicate that the Wheelchair Service Provision – Basic Test is a valid method for measuring basic competency of wheelchair professionals. Additionally, researchers recommend a skills assessment to help to ensure only qualified wheelchair professionals receive the certificate.

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