Published on 31 January 2013
A Canadian-American team of researchers have conducted the first experimental study which demonstrates that the provision of assistive technology decreases care burden.
“If confirmed and extended by subsequent research, the findings will have significant policy and practice implications and may enable health care providers to advocate for improved access to AT provision and related follow-up services,” according to the study.
This study was a delayed intervention, randomized control trial. Baseline data were collected on 44 community-dwelling AT user-caregiver dyads in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Montreal, Quebec. The primary outcome measures for AT users were the satisfaction and accomplishment scales from the Assessment of Life Habits. The primary outcome measure for caregivers was the Caregiver Assistive Technology Outcome Measure, which assessed burden associated with dyad-identified problematic activities.
After the intervention, assistance users in the immediate intervention group reported significantly increased satisfaction with activity performance (P < 0.001) and improved accomplishment scores (P = 0.014). Informal caregivers in the immediate intervention group experienced significantly decreased burden with the dyad-identified problematic activity (P = 0.013). Participants in the delayed intervention group experienced similar benefits after the intervention. Improvements for both groups were mostly maintained 4 months after the conclusion of the intervention.
Source: Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jan 3