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Res Dev Disabil. 2012 Mar-Apr;33(2):670-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2011.11.007. Epub 2011 Dec 18.

Post-coma persons emerged from a minimally conscious state and showing multiple disabilities learn to manage a radio-listening activity.

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University of Bari, Italy.


This study assessed microswitch-based technology to enable three post-coma adults, who had emerged from a minimally conscious state but presented motor and communication disabilities, to operate a radio device. The material involved a modified radio device, a microprocessor-based electronic control unit, a personal microswitch, and an amplified MP3 player. The study was carried out according to a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across participants. During the intervention, all three participants learned to operate the radio device, changing stations and tuning on some of them longer amounts of time than on others (i.e., suggesting preferences among the topics covered by those stations). They also ended a number of sessions before the maximum length of time allowed for them had elapsed. The practical (rehabilitation) implications of the findings were discussed.

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