Qualitative Article Review

Qualitative Article Review:

Liberty University

In this article, Assistive Devices for Children with Functional Impairments: Impact on Child and Caregiver Function, the authors, Stacey Henderson, Heather Skelton and Peter Rosenbaum, aim to determine the impact of assistive devices on the components of functioning as defined by the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).   The ICF is both a model for considering functioning and a classification system to describe health status. It defines health as the result of a dynamic interaction between a person’s domains (Body Structure and Function, Activity, and Participation) and two contextual factors (Environmental and Personal). Thus, interventions provided at any point in this systemic framework may have a far-reaching impact on other aspects of a person’s life and function.

Each of the 54 studies reviewed in this report identified one or more functional impairments towards which an assistive device was targeted: accessing a computer (n=3 [studies]), activity assistance (n=2), behavior changes (n=3), communication (n=30), independent feeding (n=1), living skills (n=1), mobility (n=9), modifying the environment (n=1), nutrition (n=4), and postural stability (n=2). The studies included in this review were selected based on characteristics of the intervention, study population, and outcomes measured. To be included, studies were required to identify provision of an assistive device(s).   Studies were limited to reports of interventions targeted to people who were under 19 years of age.

The research design/data analyses used were case studies.   The method used were abstracts of studies screened for inclusion by the first two authors.   Those selected were pooled, divided, and reviewed. Study outcomes were identified and classified as belonging to the domains and/or contextual factors of the ICF.   If concerns arose about the appropriateness of a...