The engagement of children with disabilities in health-related technology design processes: identifying methodology

Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2010 Jan;5(1):1-13. doi: 10.3109/17483100903323267.


Purpose: This review aims to identify research methodology that is suitable for involving children with disabilities in the design of healthcare technology, such as assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment.

Method: A review of the literature included the identification of methodology that is available from domains outside of healthcare and suggested a selection of available methods.

Results: The need to involve end users within the design of healthcare technology was highlighted, with particular attention to the need for greater levels of participation from children with disabilities within all healthcare research. Issues that may arise when trying to increase such involvement included the need to consider communication via feedback and tailored information, the need to measure levels of participation occurring in current research, and caution regarding the use of proxy information. Additionally, five suitable methods were highlighted that are available for use with children with disabilities in the design of healthcare technology.

Conclusion: The methods identified in the review need to be put into practice to establish effective and, if necessary, novel ways of designing healthcare technology when end users are children with disabilities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disabled Children / rehabilitation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Participation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / instrumentation
  • Self-Help Devices*
  • United Kingdom