Technology-based intervention options for post-coma persons with minimally conscious state and pervasive motor disabilities.

University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
Developmental neurorehabilitation 07/2009; 12(1):24-31. DOI: 10.1080/17518420902776995
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intervention strategies, based on learning principles and assistive technology, were assessed with four post-coma persons with minimally conscious state and pervasive motor disabilities.
The first study taught a man to access environmental stimulation through a response-microswitch combination and another man to access environmental stimulation and request social contact through responses combined with a microswitch or a Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA). The second study taught a man to access two forms of environmental stimulation via two response-microswitch combinations and another man to request two forms of contact via two response-VOCA combinations.
Data showed that all participants had significant increases in response levels (independent of whether the responses were combined with microswitch or VOCA devices) during the intervention phases of the studies.
Intervention strategies based on learning principles and technology may be largely helpful for persons with minimally conscious state and pervasive motor disabilities.

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