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NeuroRehabilitation. 2014;34(4):749-58. doi: 10.3233/NRE-141075.

Post-coma persons with multiple disabilities use assistive technology for their leisure engagement and communication.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
2
Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA, USA.
3
University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA.
4
Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.
5
Lega F. D'Oro Research Center, Osimo, Italy.
6
S. Raffaele Rehabilitation Center, Ceglie Messapica, Italy.
7
S. Raffaele Medical Care Center, Alberobello, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Interventions for post-coma persons, who have emerged from a minimally conscious state but present with extensive neuro-motor impairment and lack of or minimal verbal skills, need to promote occupation and communication through the use of assistive technology.

OBJECTIVE:

These two studies were aimed at assessing two technology-aided programs to promote leisure engagement and communication for three post-coma participants with multiple disabilities.

METHODS:

Study I assessed a program to allow a woman and a man with extensive neuro-motor impairment and lack of speech to switch on music and videos, make requests to caregivers, and send messages to (communicate with) relevant partners and receive messages from those partners. Study II assessed a program to allow a post-coma woman with extensive motor impairment and reduced verbal behavior to activate music, videos and requests, send and receive messages, and make telephone calls.

RESULTS:

Data showed that both programs were successful. The participants of Study I managed leisure engagement, requests, as well as text messaging. The participant of Study II showed consistent leisure engagement, text messaging, and telephone calls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Assistive technology can be profitably used to provide post-coma persons with multiple disabilities relevant leisure and communication opportunities.

KEYWORDS:

Leisure engagement; assistive technology; communication; multiple disabilities; post-coma persons with consciousness

PMID:
24796438
DOI:
10.3233/NRE-141075
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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