An Interdisciplinary Approach to Evaluating the Need for Assistive Technology Reduces Equipment AbandonmentBy Verza, R.; Lopes Carvalho, M.L.; Battaglia, M.A.; Messmer Uccelli, M. ; Multiple Sclerosis: Clinical and Laboratory Research, Vol. 12, pp. 88-93
Publication Date: 2006
Study explored whether an interdisciplinary approach to evaluating and prescribing assistive technology reduces equipment abandonment in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Data concerning assistive devices acquired by patients with MS at a rehabilitation center in northern Italy from January 1997 to December 2002 were included in the study. Through December 1999, equipment was prescribed by a physician upon recommendation by a physical therapist, whereas from 2000 through 2002, patients were evaluated by an interdisciplinary team comprising a physical therapist, occupational therapist, physiatrist, and psychologist. Assistive technology obtained during the study period was divided into two datasets: pre-intervention (1997 through 1999) and intervention (2000 through 2002). Fifty-four patients obtained 151 assistive devices, 67 during pre-intervention and 84 with the intervention. Manual wheelchairs and pressure cushions were the types of technology most frequently obtained during pre-intervention, compared to manual and electric wheelchairs during intervention. The majority of assistive devices were abandoned due to worsening in physical status, followed by non-acceptance of the device, inappropriateness, and insufficient information and training. During the intervention period, no device was abandoned due to inappropriateness or insufficient information and training. The rate of equipment abandonment decreased significantly from 37.3 percent during pre-intervention to 9.5 percent during the intervention period. The study concludes that an interdisciplinary approach to evaluating assistive-technology needs does decrease the risk of equipment abandonment.
Published by: Sage Publications (Website:http://www.sagepub.com)
Link to text: http://msj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/12/1/88