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Perspectives on assistive technology among older Norwegian adults receiving community health services

HALVORSRUD, Liv
HOLTHE, Torhild
KARTERUD, Dag
THORSTENSEN, Erik
LUND, Anne
2021

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Introduction: The western world is seeking increased implementation of assistive technology (AT) to meet the challenges of an ageing population. The objective of this study is to explore perspectives on AT use among home-dwelling older adults with or without cognitive impairment.

 

Methods: This study combines findings from a cross-sectional study with a questionnaire package (n = 83) and from qualitative individual interviews (n = 7) and is part of a larger study, the Assisted Living Project. Combining methods promotes complementary inquiries into a phenomenon.

 

Results: The participants already use ATs: TVs, social alarms, mobile phones, stove timers, electronic med- ical dispensers, PCs and tablet computers. They were both optimistic and skeptical of AT, and expressed different perspectives and expressed different perspectives on ATs in relation to usability, privacy and fear of losing personal face-to-face care.

 

Conclusions: This study reveals that older adults’ perspectives on AT are multifaceted and complex, and can partly be explained by the interacting factors in the HAAT model: person, technology, environment, and context. Further exploration in relation to older adults with health challenges, as well as ethical per- spectives on AT implementation, is required for this group.

A high prevalence of manual wheelchair rear-wheel misalignment could be leading to increased risk of repetitive strain injuries

OTT, Joseph
HENDERSON, Travis
WILSON-JENE, Holly
KOONTZ, Alicia
PEARLMAN, Jonathan
2021

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Purpose: To determine the prevalence and severity of manual wheelchair rear wheel misalignment in community-dwelling manual wheelchair users and estimate the associated increases in rolling resistance (RR) and risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).


Materials and Methods: Data were collected in an outpatient rehabilitation clinic, a university research laboratory, and at adaptive sporting events in the United States. Two hundred active, self-propelling man- ual wheelchair users were recruited. Angular misalignment (referred to as toe angle) while the wheelchair was loaded with the user, and the difference between the maximum and minimum toe angle (referred to as slop) with the wheelchair unloaded.

 

Results: Average results for toe angle and slop (movement in the rear wheels) were 0.92 and 0.61 degrees, respectively. Using a lab-based testing method, we quantified the impact of increased RR forces due to misalignment in increased RR forces. Our results indicate that the average toe angle while under load and slop, without loading, measured in the community increase required propulsion force by 3.0 N. Combined toe angle and slop (i.e., the worst-case scenario) added increased propulsion force by 3.9 N. Conclusions: We found that rear-wheel misalignment was prevalent and severe enough that it may increase the risk for RSIs and decrease participation. To mitigate this issue, future work should focus on reducing misalignment through improved maintenance interventions and increased manufacturing qual- ity through more stringent standards.

Disability inclusive Universal Healthcare

CENTRE FOR INCLUSIVE POLICY
March 2021

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The inclusion of direct medical costs, indirect medical costs and indirect costs incurred by people with disabilities into Universal Healthcare is discussed. The importance of including assistive devices, rehabilitation and extra transportation costs in the system is highlighted. Social protection measures are also highlighted.

Validation of the international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) core sets from 2001 to 2019 – a scoping review

KARLSSON, Elin
GUSTAFSSON, Johanna
February 2021

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Objective: To investigate and summarize the literature on the validation of International classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) core sets from 2001 to 2019 and explore what research methods have been used when validating ICF core sets.

 

Methods: The current study is a scoping review using a structured literature search.

 

Results: In total, 66 scientific articles were included, of which 23 ICF core sets were validated. Most validation studies were conducted in Europe using a quantitative methodology and were validated from the perspective of patients. Analysis methods differed considerably between the studies, and most ICF core sets were validated only once for a single target population or from a single perspective. The comprehensive core sets were validated more often than the brief core sets, and core sets for stroke and low back pain were validated most often.

 

Conclusion: The results of the current study show that only 66% of the existing ICF core sets are validated. Many of the validation studies are conducted in a European context and from a single perspective. More validation studies of ICF core sets from the perspective of both patients and professionals are needed.

Perspectives on access and usage of assistive technology by people with intellectual disabilities in the Western Cape province of South Africa: Where to from here?

BOOT, Fleur H
KAHONDE, Callista
DINSMORE, John
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
2021

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Background: Whilst assistive technology (AT) can play an important role to improve quality of life, health inequity regarding access to appropriate AT for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) is still very much present especially in low resource countries.

 

Objectives: This study focused on exploring factors that influence access to and continued use of AT by people with ID in the Western Cape province of South Africa and to suggest potential implications of these findings and actions required to promote access to AT.

 

Method: A qualitative approach was used to explore the experiences of people with ID and providers of AT. Face-to-face interviews with 20 adults with mild to profound ID, and 17 providers of AT were conducted and the data were analysed thematically.

 

Results: People with ID within the study setting faced many challenges when trying to access AT and for those who managed to acquire AT, its continued usage was influenced by both personal characteristics of the user and environmental factors. Important factors that influence AT access and use for people with ID found in this study were (1) attitudes from the community, (2) knowledge and awareness to identify AT need and (3) AT training and instructions to support the user and care network.

 

Conclusion: With the perspectives of both the providers and users of AT, this study identified priority factors, which could be addressed to improve AT access and use for people with ID in the Western Cape province.

The Quality of Life and Associated Factors in Indonesian Meningioma Clients after Surgery: A Cross-Sectional Study

GANEFIANTY, A
IRAWATI, D
DAHLIA, D
KARIASA, I M
SUTIONO, A B
2021

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Purpose: The quality of life (QOL) of meningioma clients in Indonesia is poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate and examine the factors associated with the QOL of these meningioma clients after surgery, in order to help create an appropriate post-operative nursing intervention.

 

Method: This was a cross-sectional study. The QOL data was collected from a sample of 118 clients, using a EuroQol-5D-5L (EQ-5D-5L) questionnaire. Functional status, fatigue, illness perception and social support were assessed by the Barthel Index, FACIT-Fatigue Scale, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, and Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey-6, respectively. Statistical analyses were conducted using the Chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, and logistic regression test.

 

Results: After surgery, more than half of the 118 clients reported “ problems” in the EQ-5D dimensions of mobility (65%), self-care (57%), usual activities (70%), pain/discomfort (84%), and anxiety/depression (70%).The average postoperative EQ-5D index value (±SD) was 0.55 ± 0.26 while the median of EQ-VAS was 69.2 (IQR 40–90).Factors related to low QOL were age (p = 0.014), tumour grade (p = 0.0001), functional status (p = 0.0001), fatigue (p= 0.001), illness perception ( p = 0.0001), and social support (p = 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that the most dominant factor associated with QOL was functional status (OR 6.728; Confidence interval=95%; p=0.008).

 

Conclusion and Implications:There is a correlation between age, tumour grade, functional status, fatigue, illness perception, and social support with the QOL of postoperative meningioma clients. The study recommends that these be included in their nursing assessment and an appropriate nursing rehabilitation programme be planned in order to improve their QOL.

What are the most effective strategies for strengthening health systems for disability inclusive development? - Evidence brief

MACTAGGART, Islay
February 2021

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Health system strengthening refers to initiatives that improve one or more functions of health systems, leading to better health. There is a large body of evidence on what works to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), much of which is aligned to the World Health Organization (WHO) health system building blocks (service delivery; health workforce; information; medical products, vaccines and technologies; financing; and leadership/governance). Despite the fact that some people with disabilities have additional health needs, and many face additional barriers to accessing healthcare, inclusion of people with disabilities is largely missing from this evidence base. Separately, a smaller evidence base exists on increasing the effectiveness of specific health-related services targeting people with disabilities, such as health-related Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), rehabilitation services more broadly, and mental health services. This second evidence base is less closely aligned to the building blocks. Reviewing these outputs in parallel goes some way towards identifying effective strategies for strengthening health systems for disability inclusive development.

Cognitive behaviour therapy-based early intervention and prevention programme for anxiety in South African children with visual impairments

VISAGIE, Lisa
LOXTON, Helene
SWARTZ, Leslie
STALLARD, Paul
2021

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Background: Anxiety is the most common psychological difficulty reported by youth worldwide and may also be a significant problem for children with visual impairments. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) interventions have proven to be successful in treating childhood anxiety; however, mostly these are not suitable for children with visual impairments, as the materials used are not sufficiently accessible to this population.

 

Objectives: The present study was motivated by the dearth of research on this topic and aimed to examine the effects of a specifically tailored, group-based, universally delivered, CBT intervention for anxiety in children with visual impairments and to examine the influence of three predictor variables (i.e. age, gender and level of visual impairment) on prevention effects.

 

Method: A randomised wait-list control group design with pre-, post- and follow-up intervention measures was employed. The final sample of 52 children (aged 9–14) with varying degrees of visual impairment received the anxiety intervention. Participants were followed over a course of 10 months during which their anxiety symptoms were assessed quantitatively at four time points (T1–T4).

 

Results: The results indicated that the anxiety intervention did not significantly decrease symptoms of anxiety within the intervention groups. However, the intervention appeared beneficial for girls, younger children and legally blind participants.

 

Conclusion: This study demonstrated how CBT interventions can be adapted for use in children with visual impairments. Results obtained provide a foundation upon which future updated anxiety intervention programmes can be built, meeting the need for further research in this area.

“It’s not a simple answer.” A qualitative studyto explore how healthcare providers can bestsupport families with a child with autism spectrumdisorder and overweight or obesity

MCPHERSON, Amy C
PEREZ, Arnaldo
BUCHHOLZ, Annick
FORHAN, Mary
BALL, Geoff D C
January 2021

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Purpose: This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of parents supporting their child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and overweight or obesity (OW/OB), including their weight management support needs.

 

Methods: Interview transcripts were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Nine parents (n = 9 mothers) of ten children with ASD (7 males, 3 females) participated in individual semi-structured interviews.

 

Results: The three themes developed were: (1) Our journey to obtain weight management support; (2) I need real-world solutions; and (3) The what, who and how of our weight management needs. Parents reported being proactive in seeking weight management support for their child but were disappointed with the services offered. Resources were not tailored to the child’s complex nutrition and behavioural issues or their abilities and functioning. A multidisciplinary approach that integrated both disability and weight management expertise was desired, but not experienced. A range of formal and informal programs were recommended.

 

Conclusion: This study provides a call to action for supports that ensure children with ASD and OW/OB receive integrated, individualised support to maximise their health and wellness.

World Report on Hearing

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
2021

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The World Report on Hearing (WRH) has been developed in response to the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA70.13), adopted in 2017 as a means of providing guidance for Member States to integrate ear and hearing care into their national health plans.

Based on the best available evidence, this report presents epidemiological and financial data on hearing loss; outlines available cost-effective solutions and sets the way forward through ‘Integrated people-centered ear and hearing care’ (IPC-EHC). The report proposes a set of key H.E.A.R.I.N.G. interventions that must be delivered through a strengthened health system to realize the vision of IPC-EHC. 

The WRH was developed in collaboration with experts and stakeholders in the field of ear and hearing care who informed the report’s strategic direction and ensured that it reflects a range of cultural contexts and approaches to hearing care. The report is global in its reach while keeping a special focus on low- and middle-income countries, where the number of people with hearing loss is not matched by the availability of services and resources.

Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care for Older People With ID: Defining and Understanding Intervention Components of a Person-Centered Approach

THALEN, Marloes
VAN OORSOUW, Wietske M W J
VOLKERS, Karin M
TAMINIAU, Elsbeth F
EMBREGTS, Petri J C M
2021

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An increase in descriptive evidence regarding person-centered approaches for older people with intellectual disability (ID) is important, due to increased life expectancy and the present lack of sufficiently underpinned interventions. This is especially true of interventions designed to increase well-being and quality of life. A specific Dutch example is the Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care approach. Despite its status as a good practice, its effectiveness has not yet been proved, nor has descriptive evidence been made available. The primary aims of this qualitative study are to identify the intervention components, to provide demonstrative illustrations and to gain an in-depth understanding of the use of these components in the day-to-day support of older people with ID. A content analysis of five key documents was carried out. Five semi-structured interviews were then conducted with early adopters, followed by a concept mapping study with daily users. The final stage in the data collection process was a series of five focus-group interviews with experts and experienced support staff. The five intervention components of Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care for older people with ID have been systematically identified and described in detail in five narrative summaries drawn up in collaboration with early adopters, experts and experienced support staff. This study provides valuable insights that offer descriptive evidence for Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care in the care for older people with ID. Both implications and possible opportunities for future research are discussed.

Economic assessment of a community-based care package for people with lower limb disorder caused by lymphatic filariasis, podoconiosis and leprosy in Ethiopia

HOUNSOME, Natalia
KINFE, Mersha
SEMRAU, Maya
ALI, Oumer
TESFAYE, Abraham
MENGISTE, Asrat
BREMNER, Stephen
AHMED, Abdulkadir
FEKADU, Abebaw
DAVEY, Gail
December 2020

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We conducted an implementation research study to integrate a holistic package of physical health, mental health and psychosocial care for podoconiosis, lymphatic filariasis and leprosy into routine healthcare in Gusha cluster, Guagusa Shikudad district, northwest Ethiopia. The healthcare package included training patients in lower limb hygiene and skin care and provision of shoes, hygiene supplies and medication. The implementation activities included training events, workshops, awareness raising, self-help groups, supportive supervision, staff secondments and advisory board meeting. 

 

Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Volume 114, Issue 12, December 2020, Pages 1021–1034

https://doi.org/10.1093/trstmh/traa111
 

User Satisfaction with Conventional Lower-Limb Orthotic Devices: a Cross-Sectional Survey in Pakistan

Aftab, Zohaib
Zaidi, Zohaib Ahmed
Shafi, Faraz
2020

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Purpose: Persons with disabilities affecting lower-limb function use ankle- foot-orthoses (AFO) and knee-ankle-foot-orthoses (KAFO) on a regular basis. However, the effectiveness of these devices in daily use is seldom evaluated, especially in the developing world. This study aimed to evaluate user satisfaction with lower-limb orthotic devices while performing a broad spectrum of daily life activities in Pakistan, and to document the desired outcomes.

 

Method: A survey was conducted among orthotic device users in the out-patient departments of three hospitals in Lahore, Pakistan. The survey questionnaire was devised by adapting the Prosthetic Evaluation Questionnaire to suit orthotics evaluation. Fifty-four AFO and KAFO users participated in the study.

 

Results: Most users felt comfortable while walking on even surfaces with their orthoses. However, donning/doffing these, climbing stairs and performing certain routine activities were considered problematic for most people. Energy conservation was the most desired AFO feature, while the KAFO users wanted automatic knee-joint function.

 

Conclusion and Implications: Overall satisfaction with the existing lower- limb orthoses is adequate. Yet, significant improvements are needed in terms of energy efficiency and comfort while walking on different terrains. Further research is required in order to improve the functioning of the existing orthotic devices.

Characteristics of Outpatients receiving Physical Therapy Services at a Provincial Hospital in Papua New Guinea: A Descriptive Case Study

Saito, Takashi
Bai, Angelberth
Matsui, Nobuko
Izawa, Kazuhiro P
Shuichiro Watanabe
Alfred Malagisa
2020

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Purpose: Development of Physical Therapy (PT) services for people with disability is one of the urgent challenges in the health sector in Papua New Guinea (PNG). However, information on the current status of PT services in PNG is scarce, as also is the case for the hospital-based outpatient PT services. This study aimed to describe the characteristics of outpatients receiving PT services in a provincial hospital in West New Britain (WNB) Province, PNG and to compare them with the characteristics of inpatients.

 

Method: This was a retrospective case study using outpatient and inpatient records. The records of clients receiving PT services as either outpatients (413 records, outpatient group) or inpatients (350 records, inpatient group) were reviewed in relation to sex, age and diagnosis. Comparisons were made between the two groups on basis of quantitative data of the two patient groups .

 

Results: The final analysis comprised 404 records in the outpatient group and 344 records in the inpatient group. In the outpatient group, injury and musculoskeletal disease were forming the most dominant diagnosis groups with 52.5% and 22.0%, respectively. Injury was most common in the age group 20 to 39 years and musculoskeletal diseases was most common in the age group 40 to 59 years. These two diagnosis groups and congenital malformations were significantly more represented among outpatients than among inpatients.

 

Conclusions: Young to middle-aged clients with injury or musculoskeletal disease were predominant among outpatient PT services as compared to inpatient services. The study findings serve to provide information on the current situation and potential needs of hospital-based outpatient PT services in one provincial hospital of PNG. These findings could be the base for planning outpatient PT service in WNB Province and PNG.

Landmine Monitor 2020

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES – CLUSTER MUNITION COALITION (ICBL-CMC)
November 2020

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This is the 22nd annual Landmine Monitor report. Landmine Monitor 2020 provides a global overview of the landmine situation. Chapters on developments in specific countries and other areas are available in online Country Profiles at www.the-monitor.org/cp. Landmine Monitor covers mine ban policy, use, production, trade, and stockpiling; includes information on developments and challenges in assessing and addressing the impact of mine contamination and casualties through clearance, risk education, and victim assistance; and documents international and national support for mine action. This report focuses on calendar year 2019, with information included up to October 2020 where possible.

 

The victim assistance coordination section covers the following topics: Participation of victims and their representative organizations; A relevant government agency to coordinate victim assistance; Multi-sectoral efforts in line with the CRPD; National referral mechanisms; Centralized database with needs and challenges

The case for investing in assistive technology

ATscale
November 2020

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In this new report, ATscale describes the enormous gains that access to assistive technology (AT) can have in health, for the community and the economy. The figures are dramatic: investment in the provision of four assistive products - hearing aids, prostheses, eyeglasses, and wheelchairs - will result in a return on investment of 9:1.

Having access to AT can make the difference between failure or success in school, between a job or unemployment, between a life of opportunity or a life of dependency. An example: for a child in a low- or middle-income country, access to AT can make a difference of $100,000 in lifetime income.

Altogether, providing AT to all who need it would yield more than USD 10 trillion in economic benefits over the next 55 years.

Investing in AT both has a transformative impact on people’s wellbeing and makes sound economic sense for funders and governments. 

Cluster Munition Monitor 2020

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES – CLUSTER MUNITION COALITION (ICBL-CMC)
November 2020

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this report provides a 10-year review of developments in addressing the global cluster munitions problem, with information included up to September 2020. Profiles published online provide additional country-specific findings on these topics. Thematic maps are also published in the report and available online.

As well as a 10-year review, Cluster Munition Monitor 2020 covers cluster munition ban policy, use, production, transfers, and stockpiling globally, and also contains information on the impact of cluster munition contamination and casualties, as well as developments and challenges in addressing such impact through clearance, risk education and victim assistance.

 

11th Annual edition

Effects of Biofeedback and Task-Oriented Intervention on Balance Confidence and its Relationship with Social Participation among Stroke Survivors

Pachiappan, Elumalai
2020

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Purpose: The study aimed to compare the effects of balance training on balance confidence and its relationship with social participation among clients with stroke.

 

Method: A pre- and post- experimental group design was used. Stroke survivors who met the inclusion criteria were consecutively assigned to two groups (task- oriented and biofeedback). Participants in the task-oriented group received task- oriented activities for 20 minutes and the biofeedback group received intervention in correckta (equipment used for balance training) for 20 minutes, along with conventional occupational therapy - 5 sessions per week, for 12 weeks. Balance Confidence Scale was used for measuring balance confidence, and Frenchay Activities Index (FAI) was used to measure social participation. Statistical calculations were performed with SPSS version 16.0 package. Statistical tests were carried out with the level of significance set at p≤ 0.05.

 

Results: The findings suggest that both the biofeedback and task-oriented groups showed significant improvement in balance confidence and there was no statistically significant difference between the groups. There was a moderate to good relationship between balance confidence and social participation.

 

Conclusions and Implications: There is evidence that many stroke survivors have low balance confidence. Therapists should assess the balance confidence of their clients and encourage them to participate in these beneficial interventions.

Expanding the evidence on community-based rehabilitation for people with amputation: Longitudinal analysis of three cohorts in Guatemala

NABER, Jonathan
November 2020

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The aim of this study was to expand the evidence base regarding the effectiveness of CBR services on improving the multifaceted mobility of people with amputation in Guatemala. This aim was accomplished through two specific objectives:

 

1. Compare the longitudinal changes in the multifaceted mobility of participants in three consecutive cohorts of the ROMP CBR Program in Guatemala.

2. Share new practices for providing CBR to people with amputation, developed in the second and third cohorts of the program.

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