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Assist Technol. 2005 Spring;17(1):82-8.

Use of personal emergency response systems by older individuals with disabilities.

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Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.


This article describes how older persons perceive and use personal emergency response systems (PERSs), including issues related to device design, and report reasons for nonuse of PERSs. Data for this study were collected through a semistructured questionnaire that included fixed and open-ended response questions. Six hundred six participants 60 years and older were surveyed. Descriptive statistics were used to report sample characteristics. The most often-stated reason for using a PERS was related to concerns with falling (40% of responses). Asked how a PERS has been helpful, 75.6% of participants expressed an enhanced feeling of security with their PERS. Lack of perceived need (57.0% of responses), cost (37.0%), and lack of knowledge of the device (23.7%) were the most frequently stated reasons for not using a PERS. This study found that, while PERSs provide benefits for many elders, there appear to be many older persons who could benefit who do not have one. Only 16% of participants in this study, all of whom had disabilities, used a PERS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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