Assistive technology recommendations: measuring device use, discontinuance, and client satisfaction in rehabilitation settings
Primeau, Casey A.
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INTRODUCTION: Device discontinuance is a widespread problem with assistive technology (AT) and durable medical equipment (DME), affecting approximately one third of people with disabilities who successfully acquire equipment. Consumers’ dissatisfaction with service and device-related factors can directly lead to AT device non-use. Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation Theory provides a foundation for understanding how to address device discontinuance, potentially through follow-up services. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this doctoral capstone is to discuss the piloting and feasibility of using follow-up outcome measures in an outpatient occupational therapy rehabilitation setting in order to identify and address challenges with equipment discontinuance. METHODS: A sample of 69 clients receiving equipment recommendations from a specialty AT clinic were contacted. The COPM, ATUFS, and QUEST 2.0 were piloted to measure device use and satisfaction. The feasibility of using these measures within a follow-up protocol for this outpatient practice was then evaluated. RESULTS: A total of 63% of the sample (N=69) was successfully contacted. The site-specific protocol successfully determined whether these clients had acquired and used their devices, subsequently allowing AT practitioners to provide additional supports for clients who had experienced discontinuance or non-acquisition. CONCLUSION: Using standardized outcome measures to follow-up with clients in this setting was deemed not feasible secondary to time constraints and difficulty contacting clients. Recommendations for improving follow-up with and without use of standardized measures is discussed. Follow-up encouraged clients to schedule additional appointments, utilize recommended funding resources, or seek out referrals.
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