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Quality of evidence of assistive technology interventions for people with disability: An overview of systematic reviews
National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Injuries and Functional Capacity Unit, Assistive Technology, Helsinki, Finland.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Rehabilitation Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Social Insurance Institution, Helsinki, Finland.
Danish Centre for Assistive Technology, Department of Research & Development, Århus, Denmark.
2012 (English)In: Technology and Disability, ISSN 1055-4181, E-ISSN 1878-643X, Vol. 24, no 1, 9-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This overview summarizes the available evidence from systematic reviews of outcomes studies on various assistive technologies (AT) for persons with disabilities. Systematic reviews published between January 2000 and April 2010 were identified by comprehensive literature searches. Study selection, data extraction and methodological quality evaluation were done by two authors independently. The quality of evidence was summarized by explicit methods. Types of disabilities, settings, and AT interventions were recorded. Outcomes were mapped according to the Taxonomy of Assistive Technology Device Outcomes. Forty-four systematic reviews were included in this overview. High-quality evidence was found in single AT (positive effects of providing AT in connection with home assessment and hearing aids, no effects of hip protectors) for limited populations (older people at home, people with hearing loss, and older people in institutional care, respectively). Low-quality or unclear evidence was found for the effectiveness of the other evaluated AT interventions. Current gaps in AT outcomes research were identified. Many frequently used devices have not been systematically reviewed. Well-designed outcomes research to inform clinical decision-making is urgently needed. The systematic review methodology seems to be feasible for summarising AT outcomes research, but methodological development for grading and for primary studies is warranted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOS Press, 2012. Vol. 24, no 1, 9-48 p.
Keyword [en]
Self-help devices, assistive technology devices, aids, equipment, evidence, outcome assessment, rehabilitation, health care
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-86436DOI: 10.3233/TAD-2012-0332OAI: diva2:577327
Available from: 2012-12-15 Created: 2012-12-15 Last updated: 2016-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Samuelsson, Kersti
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Rehabilitation MedicineFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine
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