A technology-focused service within a rehabilitation setting: exploring the experiences and current technology demands of people with disabilities.
This study aimed to understand and combat challenges with the uptake of assistive technology (AT) in rehabilitation settings, and to identify the types of AT solutions which are in demand, based on user goals. The HabITec Lab is a clinical service with a focus on technology. The Lab was piloted for 12-months with mostly Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) rehabilitation inpatients at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. Most (73%) participant goals related to improving entertainment and connection. Results showed improved goal attainment following HabITec Lab attendance, as well as appreciation for the service. Attendance at the HabITec Lab was liberating for people with SCI, with The Lab helping to address important goals for participants, illuminating new future possibilities, and triggering enthusiasm about future goals. The study also found that resourcing barriers were frustrating for participants.
This research has important implications for rehabilitation, including:
- Dedicated socio-technological spaces, such as HabITec, are a key way of providing access to expertise and developing consumer knowledge of technology not adequately addressed elsewhere in the rehabilitation continuum.
- Access to technological support for individuals in the inpatient setting facilitates access to technology in the present and capacity building to foster ongoing use of technology in the future.
- Dedicated socio-technological spaces should be adequately resourced, funded, staffed and promoted to ensure optimal outcomes.
- Access to Smart devices within the inpatient rehabilitation setting is critical for people with spinal cord injury to foster communication with family, friends and communities.
Oh, S., Hodson, T., Kendall, M., Shirota, C. and Kendall, E. (2023). A technology-focused service within a rehabilitation setting: exploring the experiences and current technology demands of people with disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, pp.1–10. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/17483107.2023.2244001.
Back to Project