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Making Better Decisions [Modeling the Assistive Technology Assessment]

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1 Author(s)
Richard Simpson ; VA Pittsburgh Healthcare Syst., Pittsburgh

AIthough much is known about how people make the decisions in the abstract, as well as in specific fields such as medicine, this knowledge has not yet been applied to the assistive technology (AT) assessment process. This article is an attempt to identify lessons that therapists can apply to their own practice based on what is known about how people make decisions. This article also identifies strategies that clinicians can use to help clients, caregivers, and third-party payers make better decisions. Finally, this article suggests how technology might further improve the decision making process. It should be noted that we are directly familiar with the assessment process for computer access, augmentative communication, electronic aids to daily living, and wheeled mobility, but the same principles of decision science are likely to apply to other disciplines within AT in which a clinician (or team of clinicians) works with a client, the client's caregivers, durable medical equipment (DME) vendors, and third-party payers to identify the most appropriate AT for the client (e.g., orthotics and prosthetics).

Published in:

IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 2 )