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Development and Evaluation of Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy and Assistive Technologies, Robotics, Prosthetics and Implants, Mobility and Communication Tools, Home Automation and Telerehabilitation
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Background: Demographic change represents enormous burdens for the care sectors resulting in high proportions of (older) people in need of care and a lack of care staff. Ambient Assisted Living (AAL)...
Background: Demographic change represents enormous burdens for the care sectors resulting in high proportions of (older) people in need of care and a lack of care staff. Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) technologies have the potential to support the bottlenecks in care supply, but are not yet in widespread use in professional care contexts. Objective: The study aims for investigating professional caregivers' AAL technology acceptance, their perception of specific technologies, data handling, perceived benefits, and barriers. In particular, the study focuses on perspectives on AAL technologies differing between care professionals working in diverse care contexts in order to examine to what extent the care context influences the acceptance of assistive technologies. Methods: An scenario-based online questionnaire (n = 170) was carried out focusing on professional care givers in medical, geriatric, and care of disabled people. The participants were asked for their perceptions concerning specific technologies, specific types of gathered data, potential benefits, and barriers of AAL technology usage. Results: The care context significantly impacted the evaluations of AAL technologies (F(14,220) = 2.514; P = .002). Professional caregivers of disabled people had a significantly more critical attitude towards AAL technologies than medical and geriatric caregivers: indicated by a) being the only caregiver group with rejecting evaluations of AAL technology acceptance (F(2,118) = 4.570; P = .01) and specific technologies (F(2,118) = 11.727; P = .000) applied for gathering data and b) by the comparatively lowest agreements referring to the evaluations of data types (F(2,118) = 4.073; P = .02) which are allowed to be gathered. Conclusions: AAL technology acceptance is seen critical out of technology implementation reasons, especially in the care of people with disabilities. AAL technologies in care contexts have to be tailored to care professional's needs and concerns ("care about us"). The results contribute to a broader understanding of professional caregivers needs referring to specific data and technology configurations and encloses major differences concerning diverse care contexts. Integrating these findings into user group-tailored technology concepts and communication strategies will support a sustainable adoption of AAL systems in professional care contexts.
Background: Motivating interactive tools may increase adherence to repetitive practice for children with disabilities, but many virtual reality and active video gaming systems are too challenging for...
Background: Motivating interactive tools may increase adherence to repetitive practice for children with disabilities, but many virtual reality and active video gaming systems are too challenging for children with significant needs. Objective: We developed the Fun, Interactive Therapy Board (FITBoard), a movement toy bridging digital and physical interactions, and evaluated its usability among physical (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) at two clinical sites. Methods: The FITBoard is a tablet application involving games controlled by hand, head or foot touch of configurable, wired surfaces. Usability evaluation involved a Cognitive Walkthrough and Think Aloud process in which participants verbalized aloud while completing a series of 26 task actions involved in selecting a game and configuring the FITBoard to achieve the therapeutic goal. Therapists then responded to questions about usability perceptions. Unsuccessful actions were categorized as goal or action failures. Conventional qualitative content analysis supported understanding of usability problems. Results: Five PTs and 2 OTs participated. Goal failure was experienced by all participants in 2 tasks and action failure was experienced by all participants in 2 tasks, with 14 additional tasks experiencing goal or action failure by > 1 participant, for an overall failure rate of 65.4%. Content analysis revealed 4 main categories: hardware usability, software usability, facilitators of therapy goals, and improvement suggestions. Conclusions: FITBoard hardware and software changes are needed to address goal and action failures to rectify identified usability issues. Subsequent research will evaluate therapist, parent and child perspectives on FITBoard clinical utility when integrated within regular therapy interventions.
Background: Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscular tenderness, pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties. Nonpharmacological treatment options, such as physical activi...
Background: Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscular tenderness, pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties. Nonpharmacological treatment options, such as physical activity, are important for people with fibromyalgia. There are strong recommendations to support engagement in physical activity for symptom management among adults with fibromyalgia. Dance is a mode of physical activity that may allow individuals with fibromyalgia to improve their physical function, health, and well-being. Dance has the potential to promote improved pain processing while simultaneously providing the health and social benefits of engaging in physical activity that contributes to symptom management and overall function rehabilitation. However, we are unaware of current evidence on dance as a nonpharmacological/physical activity intervention for adults with fibromyalgia. Objective: The aims of the study were to understand how dance is used therapeutically by individuals with fibromyalgia; to examine the extent, range and nature of research activity in the area; and to determine the value of undertaking a full systematic review. Methods: We used and adapted the Arksey and O’Malley scoping framework. The search strategy involved a comprehensive search of main health and social electronic databases, trial registries and grey literature without language limits. Pairs of reviewers independently screened and extracted data and evaluated the methodological quality of randomized control trials. Results: Twenty-one unique records for 13 studies met inclusion criteria; the studies included middle aged women. Types of dance included were aerobic dance, belly dance, dance movement therapy, biodanza and Zumba. Intervention parameters were different among studies. Frequency varied between once to three times a week; all were done in small group settings. Studies evaluated a variety of outcomes in the symptoms, wellness, psychosocial, physical functioning, balance and fitness categories; no studies evaluated safety or adverse events systematically which is a major weakness of the literature. Conclusions: There are few studies in the field of dance and fibromyalgia, suggesting research is in its infancy but slowly growing. The studies were of European and South American origin, focusing on female participants and a limited number of dance modes. Because the body of literature is small, of low quality and highly heterogeneous, we concluded that a systematic review of interventions on dance is not warranted at this time. Clinical Trial: Review protocol: Bidonde J, JMIR Res Protoc 2017;6(2):e25 DOI: 10.2196/resprot.6873 PMID: 28228371 PMCID: 5343215