Title

The impact of Assistive Technology on Caregivers of Children with Physical Impairments: A Systematic Review, The Impact of Switching on Family Caregivers of Children with Cerebral Palsy

Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy)

School

School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Lois Moir

Second Advisor

Jeannine Millsteed

Abstract

PURPOSE: To systematically review the literature on the effects of assistive technology (AT) on caregivers of children with physical disabilities. METHOD: Electronic searches of Medii ne, CINAHL Plus, Pub Med, and Psychlnfo were conducted. The main search terms were AT, caregiver, physical disability, cerebral palsy and quality of life. Studies were included if they related to the impact of AT on the caregiver of children with physical impairment. Data extraction and quality assessments were conducted by three reviewers. RESULTS: Six articles were eligible for inclusion. Three studies rated weak quality of evidence (level 5), two studies rateii moderate quality of evidence (level 3), and one article was a systematic review, rating high level of quality (level 1). A paucity of literature, small sample sizes, descriptive study designs and weak methodological quality meant a narrative review was possible. Five of the six articles reported on benefits of AT for children with physical impairments and three articles reported that AT lightened caregiver assistance. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence suggests that AT has a positive impact on children with physical impairments and their caregivers. Future studies in this area could include valid and reliable outcome measures of AT use and the psychological impacts of AT on caring for a child with physical impairments

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