Impact of Electronic Aids to Daily Living on the Lives of Persons With Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries
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Structured interviews were used to evaluate the impact of electronic aids to daily living (EADL) on functional abilities and psychosocial well-being. The participants included 32 adults (26 men, 6 women; mean age of 39 years) with cervical spinal cord injuries. The experiences of 16 EADL users were compared with a control group of 16 nonusers, using the Functional Autonomy Measuring Scale, the Lincoln Outcome Measures for Environmental Controls, and the Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale. Results show EADL users had significantly better performance (p < .05) than nonusers for instrumental activities of daily living and for 75% of 12 daily tasks. Many non-users had hands-free control of phones only, whereas EADL users had control over many other household devices, which optimized their independence. The psychosocial impact of this technology was very positive for competence, adaptability, and self-esteem. In conclusion, functional abilities were greater for a variety of daily tasks, and psychosocial impact was positive when EADLs were used.
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