Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA (ASSIST TECHNOL)

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Journal description

Assistive Technology is the one journal that meets the concerns of all practitioners involved in the application of assistive technology and rehabilitation technologies and the delivery of related services. The journal seeks to foster communication among researchers, developers, clinicians, educators, consumer and others working in all aspects of the assistive technology arena.

Current impact factor: 0.51

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2009 Impact Factor 0.659

Additional details

5-year impact 0.84
Cited half-life 8.10
Immediacy index 0.05
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.18
Website Assistive Technology website
Other titles Assistive technology (Online)
ISSN 1040-0435
OCLC 61311088
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • On author's personal website or departmental website immediately
    • On institutional repository or subject-based repository after either 12 months embargo
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On a non-profit server
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set statements to accompany deposits (see policy)
    • The publisher will deposit in on behalf of authors to a designated institutional repository including PubMed Central, where a deposit agreement exists with the repository
    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Power mobility is typically used as an accommodative form of assistive technology allowing individuals with impaired ambulation to remain mobile. While research has focused on the cognitive development and social benefits of power mobility for individuals with developmental disabilities, research is lacking on using this technology to rehabilitate physical dysfunction. Recent technology, such as robot-mediated neuro-rehabilitation, is proving effective in upper extremity rehabilitation, but lack the movement feedback of power mobility. This article presents a case study of a client with cerebral palsy who experienced severe neural impairment following a motor vehicle accident. As a previous power mobility user, the client identified returning to using power mobility with the affected upper extremity as a key functional goal. This case study describes the series of steps that returned the client to independent mobility and increased upper extremity function.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 11/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1059906
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    ABSTRACT: Gaze-based assistive technology (gaze-based AT) has the potential to provide children affected by severe physical impairments with opportunities for communication and activities. This study aimed to examine changes in eye gaze performance over time (time on task and accuracy) in children with severe physical impairments, without speaking ability, using gaze-based AT. A longitudinal study with an AB design was conducted on ten children (aged 1-15 years) with severe physical impairments, who were beginners to gaze-based AT at baseline. Thereafter, all children used the gaze-based AT in daily activities over the course of the study. Compass computer software was used to measure time on task and accuracy with eye selection of targets on screen, and tests were performed with the children at baseline, after 5 months, 9-11 months, and after 15-20 months. Findings showed that the children improved in time on task after 5 months and became more accurate in selecting targets after 15-20 months. This study indicates that these children with severe physical impairments, who were unable to speak, could improve in eye gaze performance. However, the children needed time to practice on a long-term basis to acquire skills needed to develop fast and accurate eye gaze performance.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1092182
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: This study compares the time required to activate a grasp or function of a hand prosthesis when using an electromyogram (EMG) based control scheme and when using a control scheme combining EMG and control signals from an Inductive Tongue Control System (ITCS). Method: Using a cross-over study design, 10 able-bodied subjects used both control schemes to control a computer model of a hand and completed simulated grasping exercise. The time required to activate grasps was recorded and analysed for both control schemes. Results: End session mean activation times (seconds) for the EMG control scheme grasp 1-5: 0.80, 1.51, 1.95, 2.93, 3.42, and for the ITCS control scheme grasp 1-5: 1.19, 1.89, 1.75, 2.26, 1.80. The difference in mean activation time between control schemes for grasp 1 and 2 was statistically significant in favour of the EMG control scheme (p = 0.030; p = 0.004). For grasp 3 no statistical significance occurred, and for grasp 4 and 5 there was a statistical significance in favour of the ITCS control scheme (p = 0.048; p = 0.004). Conclusions: Based on the amount of training and the achieved level of performance, it is concluded that the proposed ITCS control scheme can be used as a means of enhancing prosthesis control.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1070303
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this pilot study was to provide a new approach for capturing and analyzing wheelchair maneuvering data, which are critical for evaluating wheelchair users' activity levels. We proposed a mobile-cloud (MC) system, which incorporated the emerging mobile and cloud computing technologies. The MC system employed smartphone sensors to collect wheelchair maneuvering data and transmit them to the cloud for storage and analysis. A K-Nearest-Neighbor (KNN) machine-learning algorithm was developed to mitigate the impact of sensor noise and recognize wheelchair maneuvering patterns. We conducted 30 trials in an indoor setting, where each trial contained 10 bouts (i.e., periods of continuous wheelchair movement). We also verified our approach in a different building. Different from existing approaches that require sensors to be attached to wheelchairs' wheels, we placed the smartphone into a smartphone holder attached to the wheelchair. Experimental results illustrate that our approach correctly identified all 300 bouts. Compared to existing approaches, our approach was easier to use while achieving similar accuracy in analyzing the accumulated movement time and maximum period of continuous movement (p > 0.8). Overall, the MC system provided a feasible way to ease the data collection process, and generated accurate analysis results for evaluating activity levels.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1095810

  • Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1085923
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To investigate the feasibility of a tailor-made neurorehabilitation approach using multiple types of hybrid assistive limb (HAL) robots for acute stroke patients. Methods: We investigated the clinical outcomes of patients who underwent rehabilitation using the HAL robots. The Brunnstrom stage, Barthel index (BI), and functional independence measure (FIM) were evaluated at baseline and when patients were transferred to a rehabilitation facility. Scores were compared between the multiple-robot rehabilitation and single-robot rehabilitation groups. Results: Nine hemiplegic acute stroke patients (five men and four women; mean age 59.4 ± 12.5 years; four hemorrhagic stroke and five ischemic stroke) underwent rehabilitation using multiple types of HAL robots for 19.4 ± 12.5 days, and 14 patients (six men and eight women; mean age 63.2 ± 13.9 years; nine hemorrhagic stroke and five ischemic stroke) underwent rehabilitation using a single type of HAL robot for 14.9 ± 8.9 days. The multiple-robot rehabilitation group showed significantly better outcomes in the Brunnstrom stage of the upper extremity, BI, and FIM scores. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first pilot study demonstrating the feasibility of rehabilitation using multiple exoskeleton robots. The tailor-made rehabilitation approach may be useful for the treatment of acute stroke.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1080768
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    ABSTRACT: Powered wheelchairs are complex assistive devices that must be selected and configured on the basis of individual user needs, lifestyle, motivation, driving ability and environment. They are also expensive, which often means that providing agencies require evidence that their financial investment will lead to a successful outcome. Good practice suggests that users should be carefully assessed before provision in order to make sure that the most appropriate and cost-effective product is chosen for each; in addition, follow-up investigations should be carried out in order to check the achieved outcomes and activate corrective interventions in case of problems. Unfortunately, this does not happen everywhere and follow-up is not routine practice in many countries, including Italy. We surveyed a sample of 79 users who had obtained powered wheelchairs from a Regional Health Service in Italy in the period 2008-2013. The wheelchair prescriptions were made on the basis of an assessment protocol agreed with the local health authority, and follow-up interviews were conducted at the users' homes in order to collect information about wheelchair use, and its effectiveness, usefulness and economic impact. The instruments used in the interviews included an introductory questionnaire (describing wheelchair use), QUEST (to measure user satisfaction), PIADS (to measure psychosocial impact), FABS/M (to detect environmental facilitators and barriers), and SCAI (to estimate economic impact). The results indicated positive outcomes, especially in relation to user satisfaction (average "quite satisfied" to "very satisfied") and psychosocial impact (average the wheelchair "increased a little" the users' ability, adaptability and self-esteem). A number of barriers were identified in various settings (at home, in public places and public transportation) that sometimes restrict user mobility, and suggest corrective actions. Environmental factors acting as facilitators were also identified. In economic terms, the provision of a powered wheelchair generated considerable savings in social costs for most users: an average of about $ 38,000 per person over a projected 5-year period was estimated by comparing the social cost of the intervention (the cost of all of the material and human resources involved in the provision and use of the wheelchair) with that of non-intervention (the presumed social costs that would have been incurred in the case no powered wheelchair had been provided and the user had had to continue using no device or only their previous device). The study also provided an opportunity to develop and test a follow-up protocol that proved to be applicable to routine service delivery.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1074631
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    ABSTRACT: There is limited research on the driving performance and safety of bioptic drivers and even less regarding the driving skills that are most challenging for those learning to drive with bioptic telescopes. This research consisted of case studies of five trainee bioptic drivers whose driving skills were compared with those of a group of licensed bioptic drivers (n = 23) while they drove along city, suburban, and controlled-access highways in an instrumented dual-brake vehicle. A certified driver rehabilitation specialist was positioned in the front passenger seat to monitor safety and two backseat evaluators independently rated driving using a standardized scoring system. Other aspects of performance were assessed through vehicle instrumentation and video recordings. Results demonstrate that while sign recognition, lane keeping, steering steadiness, gap judgments and speed choices were significantly worse in trainees, some driving behaviors and skills, including pedestrian detection and traffic light recognition were not significantly different to those of the licensed drivers. These data provide useful insights into the skill challenges encountered by a small sample of trainee bioptic drivers which, while not generalizable because of the small sample size, provide valuable insights beyond that of previous studies and can be used as a basis to guide training strategies.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1088594
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    ABSTRACT: This study compared the performance of two statistical location-aware pictogram prediction mechanisms, with an All-Purpose (All) pictogram prediction mechanism, having no location knowledge. The All approach had a unique language model under all locations. One of the location-aware alternatives, the Location-Specific (Spec) approach, made use of specific language models for pictogram prediction in each location of interest. The other location-aware approach resulted from combining the Spec and the All approaches, and was designated the Mixed approach (Mix). In this approach, the language models acquired knowledge from all locations, but a higher relevance was assigned to the vocabulary from the associated location. Results from simulations showed that the Mix and Spec approaches could only outperform the baseline in a statistically significant way, if pictogram users reuse more than 50% and 75% their sentences, respectively. Under low sentence reuse conditions there were no statistical significant differences between the location-aware approaches and the All approach. Under these conditions, the Mix approach performed statistical significantly better than the Spec approach.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1092181
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    ABSTRACT: Neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) are a group of heterogeneous diseases that which show differences in incidence, hereditary, etiology, prognosis or functional impairments. Wheelchair use (manual or powered) is influenced by several factors, including personal and contextual factors and comprehensive evaluation of their impact is required in order to optimize prescription and provision of wheelchairs. We therefore assessed the influence of wheelchair use on the quality of life (QoL) of 60 participants with NMD using the Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale (PIADS).The Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and a specially developed questionnaire were used to obtain information about contextual factors and participants' activity profile of activities of the participants. The results showed that using a wheelchair has psychosocial benefits, with the main determinants of benefit being type of wheelchair (powered), non-ambulation ability and independence in mobility. Ensuring a good match between user and AT (e.g. wheelchair), as well as the effectiveness of the particular device, will increase the likelihood that the user will adopt it and use it effectively in daily life. Clinical prescription of AT would be improved by making appropriate use of outcome measures.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 07/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1045996
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    ABSTRACT: Forearm crutches are a commonly used assistive device to aid the ambulation of people with lower limb impairment. Due to the structure of the joints of the upper limb, the loading patterns during crutch-walking can be detrimental to the user. Shock-absorbed or compliant crutches may reduce ground contact impact, potentially benefitting the user. In this study, we performed a biomechanical evaluation of a shock absorber crutch, which uses a uses an elastomeric system to absorb impact. Ground reaction forces (GRFs) and spatiotemporal parameters were compared between shock absorbed and standard crutches. Results indicate no significant differences to spatiotemporal parameters and peak ground reaction forces between the crutches. There is an initial impact spike during crutch strike when using shock absorbed crutches, after which the rate of force development is moderately decreased when compared with a standard crutch. The practical benefit of a small reduction in force is questionable and more work must be undertaken to further optimise shock absorber design.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 07/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1045997

  • Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1024349

  • Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/10400435.2015.1040896
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This research aims to develop a low-cost audio prescription labeling (APL) system for visually-impaired people by using the RFID system. The developed APL system includes the APL machine and APL software. The APL machine is for visually-impaired people while APL software allows caregivers to record all important information into the APL machine. The main objective of the development of the APL machine is to reduce costs and size by designing all of the electronic devices to fit into one print circuit board. Also, it is designed so that it is easy to use and can become an electronic aid for daily living. The developed APL software is based on Java and MySQL, both of which can operate on various operating platforms and are easy to develop as commercial software. The developed APL system was first evaluated by 5 experts. The APL system was also evaluated by 50 actual visually-impaired people (30 elders and 20 blind individuals) and 20 caregivers, pharmacists and nurses. After using the APL system, evaluations were carried out, and it can be concluded from the evaluation results that this proposed APL system can be effectively used for helping visually-impaired people in terms of self-medication.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2015; 27(3):150610064008001. DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.1004000
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A total of 10 trails were done on two cushions; HR50 foam and Jay3 under two loads; 44 kg and 53 kg, using a compliant cushion loading indenter capable of measuring internal loads and deformation to determine if there is a discernible difference between cushions and loading conditions and to determine if the model is repeatable and sensitive. The results of this study indicate that there is significant difference in both loads and cushions. The results also indicate that the indenter is repeatable and the unloaded data needs to be taken only once. These results are pertinent to evaluation of wheelchair cushion performance. This research will advance understanding of the internal loads and tissue deformations associated with different cushions.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2015; 27(3):150610062928003. DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.986772
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    ABSTRACT: We developed and evaluated a software tool for the automatic configuration of Windows keyboard settings. The software is intended to accommodate the needs of people with physical impairments, with a goal of improved productivity and comfort during typing. The prototype software, called AutoIDA, monitors user activity during performance of regular computer tasks and recommends the Sticky Keys and key repeat settings to meet the user’s specific needs. The evaluation study included fourteen individuals with upper extremity impairments. AutoIDA recommended changes to the default keyboard settings for 10 of the 14 participants. For these individuals, average typing speed was essentially the same whether users typed with the default keyboard settings (5.5 wpm) or the AutoIDA-recommended settings (5.3 wpm). Average typing errors decreased with use of the recommended settings, from 17.6% to 13.3%, but this was not quite statistically significant (p = .10). On an individual basis, four participants appeared to improve their overall typing performance with AutoIDA-recommended settings. For more specific metrics, AutoIDA prevented about 90% of inadvertent key repeats (with a revised algorithm) and increased the efficiency and accuracy of entering modified (shifted) characters. Participants agreed that software like AutoIDA would be useful to them (average rating 4.1, where 5 = strongly agree).
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2015; 27(3):150602180420006. DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.997899