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Effects of assistive technology on functional decline in people aging with a disability

Effects of assistive technology on functional decline in people aging with a disability

Assistive Technology 21(4): 208-217

This study used a randomized control group design to investigate the impact of an assistive technology and home modification intervention on function for individuals who are aging with a disability. There were 91 participants with polio, rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, stroke, and other impairments. Outcome data were collected at 12 and 24 months through in-home interviews using the Older Americans Resources and Services Instrument (OARS) and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), and through monthly telephone contact on the hours of in-home care, hospitalizations, and acquisition of AT. The treatment group received an in-home evaluation of their equipment and home modification needs. All recommended AT and home modifications were provided and paid for in full or in part by the study. The control group received the standard community-available health care. A significant "group by time" interaction for the FIM suggested a slower decline in function for the treatment group over 2 years. Further analyses found that the treatment group was more likely to use equipment to maintain independence vs. personal assistance. This study supports the value of assistive technology for adults aging with a disability and suggests that it be provided earlier in the aging process.

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Accession: 052856533

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 20066887

DOI: 10.1080/10400430903246068

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