Computer-based assistive technology and changes in daily living after stroke

Lindqvist E, Borell L
Karolinska Institutet, NVS, the Department of Occupational Therapy, Fack 23200, 141 83 Huddinge, Sweden.

Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2012 Sep;7(5):364-71. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2011.638036. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

The aim of this study was to examine in depth how computer-based assistive technology (AT) for cognitive support influenced the everyday lives of both persons who had had a stroke and their significant others.

METHOD: Four participants, who had experienced cognitive limitations after a stroke, and their significant others were included in the study. The study included an intervention with a specific type of computer-based AT that was installed in the homes of the four participants for a 6-month period. Semistructured interviews were conducted before the installation to learn about the participants needs and repeated interviews took place after the installation. All collected data were analyzed based on qualitative methodology.

RESULTS: The findings illustrated how routines developed with support from the AT influenced the participants towards increased control of their everyday life, and also created daily structure and helped them regain social contacts. The findings demonstrated how the spouses also benefitted and could reduce their reminding and checking responsibilities.

CONCLUSION: Computer-based AT has the potential to bring about changes in the everyday life for people with cognitive limitations by supporting the development of routines and by introducing, maintaining, reinforcing or regaining valuable activities.