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Assistive technology selection: a study of participation of users with rheumatoid arthritis

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4 Author(s)
U. Hass ; Center for Med. Technol., Linkoping Univ., Sweden ; H. Brodin ; A. Andersson ; J. Persson

A new program based on improved user participation for the selection of assistive devices was implemented and its effectiveness and efficiency assessed. The intervention was compared with traditional routines. The study population comprised persons with rheumatoid arthritis who lived in two communities in Sweden. The selection process yielded increased user participation, user satisfaction, an increased number of prescriptions, and consequently also higher costs. The outcome measures showed more vague improvements. No improvement in functional ability was found regarding pain and difficulty with daily activities in the two study groups, but an increased use of assistive devices was found among women below 64 years in the intervention group (p=0.001). Women below 64 years in the intervention group rated an improved health-related quality of life regarding both the total score (p=0.017) and the underlying dimensions of physical function (p=0.012). Even though the intervention yielded positive results on process-variables as increased user participation and an increased number of prescribed assistive devices, only women below 64 years showed an increased use of assistive devices in daily activities and an improved health related quality of life

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Rehabilitation Engineering  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 3 )