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Significant challenges when introducing care robots in Swedish elder care

JOHANSSON-PAJALA, Rose-Marie
GUSTAFSSON, Christine
2020

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Introduction: 

Care robots are machines, operating partly or completely autonomously, that are intended to assist older people and their caregivers. Care robots are seen as one part of the solution to the aging population, allowing fewer professional caregivers to provide the necessary assistance and care. Despite the potential benefits, the dissemination of care robots, and welfare technology in general, is limited in Swedish elder care.

 

Purpose: 

To explore the challenges of introducing welfare technology, particularly care robots, in elder care.

 

Materials and methods:

 Twenty-one individual interviews with key actors at the societal level, analysed by thematic analysis.

 

Results: 

The challenges, from the societal actors’ perspectives, were related to; the beliefs in technology, attitudes, ethics, collaboration, and the need for knowledge and skills regarding care robots (individual and group challenges). Challenges of a national character were: national governance, infrastructure, laws and regulations, economics, and procurement (systemic and societal challenges). In addition, the necessary preconditions for successful introduction were revealed as: the utility of the technology, implementation, evaluation and safety, security, and integrity (preconditional challenges).

 

Conclusions: 

The introduction of care robots in elder care services seems to be more challenging than that of welfare technology in general, given the context and prevailing attitudes and preconceptions about robotics. Significant challenges need to be managed, at all levels of the society, before care robots can become an integral part of daily care and assist older people and their caregivers in activities and rehabilitation.

Aesthetics and the perceived stigma of assistive technology for visual impairment

DOS SANTOS, Aline Darc Piculo
FERRARI, Ana Lya Moya
MEDOLA, Fausto Orsi
SANDNES, Frode Eika
2020

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Purpose: 

The aim of this study was to identify factors that influence the perceived stigma of two assistive devices for visual impairment, namely the white cane and smart glasses.

 

Method: 

Face-to-face semi-structured interviews with eight European students were conducted to probe their experiences and knowledge related to disability, assistive technology, visual impairment, as well as handheld and wearable devices.

 

Results: 

Close relationships with disabled people seems to have a positive influence on participants perceptions about stigma, disability, and assistive technology. Academic background seems to not have any influence. The aesthetics of assistive devices was observed as an important factor that influences the adoption or abandonment of the device.

 

Conclusion: 

Device without negative symbolism but with modern aesthetics (smart glasses) were positively accepted by the participants than the device with traditional aesthetics and symbolisms of visual impairment (white cane). Designers should, therefore, consider aesthetics in addition to functionality in order to avoid the perceived stigma, thereby reducing the chances of device abandonment.

Introduction: disability, partnership, and family across time and space

VIKSTRÖM, Lotta
SHAH, Sonali
JANSSENS, Angélique
2020

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Notions of family life and romantic partnership, like notions of disability, have been culturally constructed and socially produced over historical time, and our understandings of these notions are being continually challenged and re-negotiated across time and space. Policies, institutions, and cultural practices across the globe have brought about changes to the construction of the family and to the rights and inclusion of disabled people in private and public life. This special issue brings together a collection of studies from different countries and time periods to explore the interplay between disability, romantic partnerships, and family life across the individual lifetime and between generations. With this interdisciplinary collection, we seek to merge disability research and research on family and partnerships through a life course lens. This offers unique insights and opportunities to interconnect his- torical and cultural location and changing social institutions with individual and family experiences. This introduction presents the eight studies in the collection and discusses them within a life course frame that views disabled people’s roles as partners, spouses, and members of a family. In so doing, it engages in an analysis of (dis)similarities concerning how family dynamics, romantic relationships, and disability have developed over time and in different spaces.

Multifaceted interventions show limited impact on community participation among adults with disabilities

GROSS, Judith
MONROE-GULICK, Amalia
DAVIDSON-GIBBS, Debbie
NYE, Chad
June 2020

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This Campbell systematic review and meta-analysis examines the impact of multifaceted interventions on community participation outcomes for adults with disabilities, and aims to find effective components of the interventions. The review summarizes the findings from 15 reports of multifaceted interventions in five countries (USA, China, Germany, Italy, Australia) with the majority from USA (10).

Included studies employ at least two interventions designed to address two or more participant characteristics (e.g., skill enhancement, behavior/attitude change) and/or environmental characteristics (e.g., participant interactions with people, places, or things) resulting in outcomes that provide direct access to the community (e.g., competitive employment, adult learning, housing) or are a dimension of community participation (e.g., self-determination, quality of life, social networking).

A total of 15 studies using a multifaceted intervention were included in this review. Of these, nine were randomized and six were quasi-experimental. Study participants were adults, 18 years or older, with a disability, who had exited secondary school services. Participants identified as having the following disabilities: intellectual disability, mental illness, traumatic brain injury, aging-related disabilities (e.g., dementia, Alzheimer’s, reduction in activities of daily living), or combinations of two or more classifications.

 

Campbell Systematic Reviews. 2020;16:e1092.

https://doi.org/10.1002/cl2.1092

Factors of importance for return to work, experienced by patients with chronic pain that have completed a multimodal rehabilitation program – a focus group study

SVANHOLM, Frida
LIEDBERG, Gunilla Margareta
LÖFGREN, Monika
BJÖRK, Mathilda
2020

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To reduce the individual, societal, and economic burden of the high sick leave rates due to chronic pain, it is essential to find effective strategies for increasing return to work (RTW). Although multimodal rehabilitation programs (MMRPs) may have positive effects on RTW, the results are inconsistent. This study explores the factors that contribute to decreasing sick leave and increasing RTW in patients with chronic pain who completed a MMRP.

 

METHOD: Four focus groups and three individual interviews were conducted. In total, 18 patients were interviewed. All patients had chronic pain and had completed a MMRP. They were either employed or unemployed, either working to some degree or fully on sick leave. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

 

RESULTS: Three main categories were identified: Knowledge and understanding–prerequisites for tailored solutions; Individual adaptations–necessary but difficult to implement; and Stakeholder collaboration–needs improvement.

 

CONCLUSION: The participants described a variety of facilitating and limiting factors that created complex prerequisites for RTW. This finding makes it clear that these patients need tailored interventions and strong collaboration among all stakeholders throughout the rehabilitation process. Tailored interventions and collaborations could improve the effectiveness of MMRPs.

Parental perspectives on care for sleep in children with cerebral palsy: a wake-up call

HULST, Raquel Y
VOORMAN, Jeanine M
PILLEN, Sigrid
KETELAAR. Marjolijn
VISSER-MEILY Johanna M A
VERSCHUREN, Olaf
June 2020

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Purpose: Sleep problems are common in children with cerebral palsy (CP) and have a large impact on child health and family functioning. This qualitative study aimed to explore parental perspectives regarding the care for sleep of their young child (age 1–8 years) with CP.

 

Materials and methods: Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eighteen parents of a child with CP (GMFCS levels I-V). Inductive thematic analysis of the data was performed within each of the three preidentified domains: 1) Current situation; 2) Concerns; 3) Needs.

 

Results: In total, sixteen themes were identified across the three domains. Within the families’ Current situation, parents expressed various issues concerning the care for sleep of their child both at night and during daytime, which are hampered by perceived deficiencies in healthcare, such as limited attention for sleep and lack of knowledge among health professionals. Themes within the Concerns and Needs domains encompassed experiences in the home environment relating to child, family and social aspects, while experiences in the healthcare setting included clinical practices and attitudes of healthcare professionals, as well as the broader organisation of care for sleep.

 

Conclusions: Parents face numerous challenges caring for their child’s sleep and the burden placed on families by sleep problems is underappreciated. In order to break the vicious circle of sleep problems and their disastrous consequences on the wellbeing of families, we need to wake up to parent-identified issues and shortcomings in healthcare. Care for sleep should be integrated into paediatric rehabilitation through routine inquiries, using a family-centered and multidisciplinary approach.

Family experiences up to seven years after a severe traumatic brain injury–family interviews

STENBERG, Maud
STALNACKE, Britt-Marie
SAVEMAN, Britt-Inger
June 2020

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Purpose: To explore the experiences of being a family with one member suffering from severe traumatic brain injury (STBI) up to 7 years earlier through narrative family interviews.

 

Methods: There are few studies where a family as a unit, including persons with STBI, are interviewed together. This study used a family systems research approach following a qualitative interpretative design. Therefore, 21 families with a total of 47 family members were interviewed. Qualitative content analysis was used to reveal categories with sub-categories and a theme.

 

Results: “From surviving STBI towards stability, through the unknown, into a new everyday life and a new future as a family” characterized the implicit message. The results revealed two categories both with three subcategories. The first category characterized the rapid change from a normal everyday life to one of uncertainty and finally to one of stability, and the second category described how it is to adapt as a family after STBI.

 

Conclusions: Long-term experiences of STBI show the importance for the whole family of belonging to a context, having a job, and having something to belong to as a way to achieve stability. Families` feelings of loneliness and lack of treatment and support are challenges for professionals when trying to involve families in care and rehabilitation.

Disability, deadly discourse, and collectivity amid Coronavirus (COVID-19)

ABRAMS, Thomas
ABBOTT, David
June 2020

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As COVID-19 crosses the globe, disabled people are subject to new medical and discursive realities. Focusing on the consequences of the latter, we utilize news reports from Canada and the UK to argue the current language of pre-existing conditions represents disability as non-life, explaining away the material realities facing disabled persons. This language ignores the distribution of care work in our societies, poverty, and other forms of exclusion facing disabled people and the population more generally. Work on ventilator users points to these existing inequalities, obscured as they may be. This story is not new. Outlining existing narratives within disability studies challenging disability as deadly biological and economic deficiency and situating the ‘pre-existing’ terminology therein, we look to work in disability studies and bioethics to challenge the disability–death equation. We end reviewing counter-narratives by and for disabled people, highlighting the ongoing and life-affirming resistance throughout the disability rights movement.

 

Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 22(1), pp.168–174.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.16993/sjdr.732

Assistive technology use and provision during COVID19: Results from a rapid global survey

SMITH, Emma M
HERNANDEZ, Maria Luisa Toro
EBUENYI, Ikenna D
SYURINA, Elena V
BARBARESCHI, Giulia
BEST, Krista L
DANEMAYER, Jamie
OLDFREY, Ben
IBRAHIM, Nuha
HOLLOWAY, Catherine
MacLACHLAN, Malcolm
June 2020

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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted all segments of society, but it has posed particular challenges for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, those with chronic illness and older people regarding their participation in daily life. These groups often benefit from assistive technology (AT) and so it is important to understand how use of AT may be affected by or may help to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. The objectives of this study were to explore the how AT use and provision have been affected during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how AT policies and systems may be made more resilient based on lessons learned during this global crisis.

This study was a rapid, international online qualitative survey in the 6 United Nations (UN) languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese) facilitated by extant World Health Organization (WHO) and International Disability Alliance networks. Themes and subthemes of the qualitative responses were identified using Braun and Clarke's 6-phase analysis.

 


International Journal of Health Policy and Management. 2022 Jun 1;11(6):747-756

doi: 10.34172/ijhpm.2020.210.

 

Ear and hearing survey handbook

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
May 2020

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This survey handbook provides guidance for planning and implementing hearing loss surveys, including information on possible data collection tools. The survey handbook aims to enable countries – particularly low- and middle-income countries – to gather data by planning and implementing population-based epidemiological surveys.

The main uses of data collected by such surveys are:

  • to provide an accurate picture of hearing loss prevalence in a given area, which could be a country or an area within the country (e.g. district or state);
  • to provide an overview of the most common probable causes of deafness and hearing loss in the study area;
  • assess global and regional prevalence and trends

 

Using this survey handbook for data collection will help to ensure comparability of data collected through studies conducted in different countries and by different investigators. This will facilitate the estimation of global prevalence and the examination of hearing loss trends over time.

Model disability survey of Afghanistan 2019

AKSEER SHINWARI, Nadia
AKSEER, Tabasum
KAMALA, Madhis
May 2020

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Led by The Asia Foundation (the Foundation) in Kabul, Afghanistan, the WHO’s and World Banks’ Model Disability Survey (MDS) was implemented in Afghanistan in 2019 to provide rigorous and current data for policy and action. Using an adapted MDS, the MDSA 2019 was designed and implemented to generate representative data at nationally and regionally representative levels.

 

A complex survey using multistage sampling was administered respectively to adult (18+ years) and child (2–17 years) populations; a total of 14,290 households were surveyed, representing 111,641 Afghans across the country. Separate survey tools were implemented for adults (157 questions) and children (53 questions). Three core tools were developed covering: 1) household characteristics; 2) adult disabilities (related to functioning, health conditions, personal assistance, assistive products and facilitators, health care utilization, well-being and empowerment); 3) child disabilities (related to functioning and health conditions)

Persons with disabilities must not bear the brunt of COVID-19 aftermath: Lessons from Ebola in Liberia (SDDirect COVID-19 pandemic blog series)

CAREW, Mark
May 2020

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The importance of ensuring persons with disabilities are not excluded as part of COVID-19 responses is explored.
Lessons learnt from the 2014-2017 Ebola outbreak in Liberia are discussed highlighting access to information, access to healthcare and the social impact. Research in Liberia combined surveys and interviews with people from households with a disabled person as well as those without, and included responses from 560 persons living in areas that had ‘many’ or ‘few’ cases of Ebola.

Rapid assessment of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities in Viet Nam

HUONG, DAO THU
May 2020

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The objectives of the rapid assessment were to identify health and socio-economic challenges faced by persons with disabilities and their families during COVID-19 and formulate recommendations to the Government on COVID-19 disability-inclusive response and recovery. The rapid assessment was carried through a survey of persons with disabilities. A questionnaire was designed with inputs from OPDs, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and other UN agencies. The questionnaire included 29 questions, covering personal status, changes in personal income before and during COVID-19, employment situation, main challenges during COVID-19 including on health and socio-economic issues, coping mechanisms and main needs

Recycling of plaster of Paris

SHIYO, Servas
NAGELS, Joseph
SHANGALI, Harold G.
May 2020

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Background: Plaster of Paris (POP) is being used in different ways in the field of medicine, dentistry and rehabilitation. One of its uses is in the manufacture of models of body segments in prosthetics and orthotics. It is used as a one-off procedure in which the used material is dismantled and discarded. The disposal of discarded materials does not allow easy decomposition which then pollutes the environment. It is not known whether this material could be reused if recycled.

 

Objectives: The main objective of the study was to recycle POP models and determine its reuse in producing models with identical qualities, and thus reduce environmental pollution.

 

Method: The procedure adopted was to break discarded models into small pieces, remove impurities and dirt; then the sample models were milled, washed, dried and pulverised. The POP models were heated to evaporate crystalline water in order to determine for how many times it could be recycled while retaining the desired strength, setting time and working characteristics.

 

Results: The recycled POP reached higher setting temperatures and was stronger in terms of compressive strain and strength than the virgin POP. The highest temperature recorded for recycled POP was 40°C, which was higher than that for virgin powder (32.5°C). Testing compressive strength of all cylinders in all groups showed that the average compressive strength of the recycled powder mixed with water in a ratio of 1:1 was 2407 KN/m² and the ratio of 2:3 resulted in a compressive strength of 1028 KN/m², whereas the average compressive strength of virgin POP powder mixed with water in a ratio of 1:1 was 1807 KN/m² and the ratio of 2:3 resulted in a compressive strength of 798 KN/m². There were no differences in working properties between the recycled POP and the virgin POP.

 

Conclusion: It was therefore concluded that under controlled conditions, such as grinding size, heating temperature, time and avoidance of contamination, used POP could be continuously recycled, resulting in stronger and workable casts.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol. 9, 2020

The impact of an inclusive education intervention on learning outcomes for girls with disabilities within a resource-poor setting

CAREW, Mark
DELUCA, Marcella
GROCE, Nora
FWAGA, Sammy
KETT, Maria
May 2020

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Background: Despite a global commitment to the right to education for persons with disabilities, little is known about how to achieve inclusive education in practice, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the majority of the world’s people with disabilities reside. Moreover, although exclusion from education is magnified by intersecting gender and socioeconomic inequalities, there is especially little knowledge regarding what approaches to inclusive education are effective amongst girls with disabilities living in resource-poor settings.

 

Objectives: The objective of this article was to assess the impact of an inclusive education intervention led by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on the educational attainment of girls with disabilities in the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya.

 

Method: A quasi-experimental design was employed, where the literacy and numeracy educational attainment of the intervention and control groups was compared over two time points a year apart (Time 1 and Time 2; total matched N = 353). During this period, activities pertaining to six core components of a holistic inclusive education model were implemented.

 

Results: Relative to the control group, girls with disabilities in the intervention group reported a greater increase in literacy and numeracy attainment, adjusted for grade and level of functional difficulty.

 

Conclusion: Findings suggest that the intervention was successful in engendering additional improvements in the educational attainment of girls with disabilities from the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya. Results highlight both the applicability of NGO-led interventions in settings, where national implementation of inclusive education is constrained, and the potential of taking such interventions to scale.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

COVID-19 at the intersection of gender and disability: Findings of a global human rights survey, March to April 2020

McRAE, Amanda
May 2020

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This report is based on the results of a global survey conducted in March and April 2020, targeted at the personal experiences of women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities and COVID-19. This survey, which was intended to be primarily qualitative, asked respondents to provide narrative information about the following topics: access to health services, including sexual and reproductive health services; rationing of healthcare; personal safety and violence; access to support services to meet daily living needs; and access to education, employment, and other income. The results are based on 100 respondents. Recommendations are given.

Delivering trauma and rehabilitation interventions to women and children in conflict settings: a systematic review

JAIN, Reena P
METEKE, Sarah
GAFFEY, Michelle F
et al
May 2020

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In recent years, more than 120 million people each year have needed urgent humanitarian assistance and protection. Armed conflict has profoundly negative consequences in communities. Destruction of civilian infrastructure impacts access to basic health services and complicates widespread emergency responses. The number of conflicts occurring is increasing, lasting longer and affecting more people today than a decade ago. The number of children living in conflict zones has been steadily increasing since the year 2000, increasing the need for health services and resources. This review systematically synthesised the indexed and grey literature reporting on the delivery of trauma and rehabilitation interventions for conflict-affected populations.

A systematic search of literature published from 1 January 1990 to 31 March 2018 was conducted across several databases. Eligible publications reported on women and children in low and middle-income countries. Included publications provided information on the delivery of interventions for trauma, sustained injuries or rehabilitation in conflict-affected populations. A total of 81 publications met the inclusion criteria, and were included in the review.

 

BMJ Global Health 2020;5:e001980

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001980

Interventions for anxiety in mainstream school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

HILLMAN, Kylie
DIX, Katherine
AHMAD, Kashfee
LIETZ, Petra
TREVITT, Jenny
ULJAREVIC, Mirko
VIVANTE, Giacomo
HEDLEY, Darren
May 2020

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Anxiety is a common problem in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other psychosocial interventions have been developed as alternatives to pharmacological intervention to treat anxiety in students with ASD.

 

This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of interventions for reducing anxiety in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder, compared to treatment-as-usual. The review summarises evidence from 24 studies using an experimental or quasi-experimental design.

 

Twenty-four studies, involving 931 school-aged children with ASD (without co-occurring intellectual disability) and clinical anxiety, are summarised in this review. The studies were experimental or quasi-experimental control-treatment trials, deemed to be of sufficient methodological quality and with reduced risk of bias. Studies spanned the period 2005 to 2018 and were mostly carried out in Australia, the UK and the USA.

Examined interventions ranged across clinical, school-based, or home-based settings, with group or individual treatment formats. Twenty-two of the studies used a CBT intervention. One study used peer-mediated theatre therapy and one study examined the benefits of Thai traditional massage for reducing anxiety. Most interventions involved parents/caregivers and were conducted face-to-face.

 

Campbell Systematic Reviews, Volume16, Issue2, June 2020, e1086

 
https://doi.org/10.1002/cl2.1086

 

A preschool for all children? – Swedish preschool teachers’ perspective on inclusion

HAU, Hanna Ginner
SELENIUS, Heidi
ÅKESSON, Eva Björck
2020

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Building on the Salamanca Statement from 1994, the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals 2030 embraces inclusion for children in early childhood education. The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education in 2015–2017 completed a project on inclusive early childhood education, focusing on structures, processes, and outcomes that ensure a systemic approach to high-quality Inclusive Early Childhood Education (IECE). An ecosystem model of IECE was developed with a self-reflection tool for improving inclusion. This study’s aim was to investigate practitioners’ perspective on the inclusive processes and supportive structures defined in the ecosystem model, to contribute to a deeper understanding of how inclusive practice might be enabled and how barriers for inclusion can be removed. The self-reflection tool was administered in a heterogeneous municipality in Sweden, where inclusive settings are standard. Documentation from approximately 70 teachers on 27 teams was received. The documentation was analysed with qualitative content analysis based on the ecosystem model. The results showed a strong emphasis on group-related processes, whereas data on individual-related processes were scarce. This one-sided focus on the group level might endanger the inclusive processes and outcomes concerning the individual child.

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