Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2016 Mar 29;11(3):e0152707.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152707. eCollection 2016.

Use of and Self-Perceived Need for Assistive Devices in Individuals With Disabilities in Taiwan

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Use of and Self-Perceived Need for Assistive Devices in Individuals With Disabilities in Taiwan

Kwok-Tak Yeung et al. PLoS One. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Assistive devices (ADs) can help individuals with disabilities achieve greater independence, and it can enhance the quality of their lives. This study investigated the use of and self-perceived need for ADs in individuals with disabilities, and determined the influence of gender, age as well as type and degree of disability on the use of and self-perceived need for ADs. This descriptive study utilized a cross-sectional survey design with a convenience sample of participants. A total of 1018 subjects with disabilities who visited an exhibition of assistive technology and two ADs research and development centers completed a questionnaires either by themselves or via a caregiver who completed the questionnaire on behalf of the subject or via interviewers trained specifically for this study. The Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis test were used to determine the influence of participant characteristics on the use of ADs. The results showed that 77.2% and 83.3% of the participants reported that they used and needed AD(s) to engage in activities of daily living. The mean quantity of the use of and self-perceived need for total types of ADs were 3.0 and 5.3, respectively. Participants with different disabilities reported different percentages of the use of various types of ADs. No difference was found between genders and among the age groups in the use of quantity of ADs. Individuals with different types and degrees of disability used different quantities of ADs. Participants with physical, visual and multiple disabilities used significantly more ADs compared to participants with intellectual disability. The total quantity of ADs used increased significantly with increased severity of disability. The mean use of assistive devices was lower compared to the mean need of individuals with disabilities. Further study is required to determine why patients feel the need for but not currently use a specific assistive device.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 2 articles

References

    1. World Health Organization. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Geneva, Switzerland: Author, 2001.
    1. Assistive Technology Act of 2004, Pub. L. No. 108–364, 118 Stat. 1707 (Oct. 25, 2004).
    1. Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Pub. L. No. 108–446, 118 Stat. 2647 (Dec. 3, 2004).
    1. Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, United Nations General Assembly, 48 session, resolution 48/96, annex, of 20 Dec 1993.
    1. Zabala, J. The SETT framework: Critical areas to consider when making informed assistive technology decisions. Paper presented at the Florida Assistive Technology Impact Conference and Technology and Media Division of Council for Exceptional Children. Orlando, FL, March 2–4, 1995. Available: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED381962.pdf.

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.
Feedback