The User's Perspective on the Provision of Electronic Assistive Technology: Equipped for Life?

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Abstract:

The variety of electronic assistive technology (EAT) available for people with physical disabilities is constantly increasing. It includes items such as powered wheelchairs, equipment for communication and environmental control systems. The timely provision of this equipment can enhance the quality of life of users and carers alike.

This paper presents the findings of a survey of the experiences of people with physical disabilities who used this equipment. This was part of a project investigating the provision of EAT in two regional health authorities. The survey asked questions covering subjects such as funding sources, referrers, training and maintenance, time delays, the range of equipment used by individuals and the problems encountered obtaining the equipment.

The response rate was 54% (135 out of 250 questionnaires were returned). The results showed that the majority of the equipment was used regularly, with many respondents using between three and six items. Sixty per cent of respondents reported a problem with current provision processes. The most common of these were funding issues, information availability, maintenance, training, switches, assessment and delays. The role that all services can play in eliminating these problems is discussed and the importance of cooperation and effective links between services is emphasised.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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