Dianne M Steel, Marion A Gray
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Vol. 16, Iss. 10, 07 Oct 2009, pp 546 - 556

Aims: The aim of this study was to enhance the understanding of the baby boom generation's use and perception of recommended assistive technology.
Methods: A mixed quantitative and qualitative research design was employed, primarily based on a phenomenological framework. Literature was reviewed to provide an overview of the factors found to influence the use of assistive technology. Twelve patients (born 1946-1965 inclusive) from a regional Australian public hospital, who were recommended assistive technology upon discharge, were administered questionnaires. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with four participants.
Findings: Eight participants followed recommendations to hire/purchase assistive technology. All of the participants who obtained recommended assistive technology stated they 'used' it. Cost was identified as influencing non-use.
Conclusions: There was some variation from the literature in factors that influenced use, highlighting the importance of further examination of baby boomers and assistive technology use. The importance of choice and the diversity of opinion shown within this study group reinforces the need for a focus on patient-centred practice and acknowledgement of individual needs in the prescription of assistive technology.

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