Psychometric and administrative properties of measures used in assistive technology device outcomes research.
Although there have been numerous calls for increasing the quantity and quality of assistive technology outcomes research, no one has analyzed the nature of data that the field has been accumulating. This article summarizes our evaluation of 82 outcome studies, published between 1980 and 2001, addressing assistive technology devices (ATDs). Our data indicate that the "typical" ATD outcomes study published in the past 20 years is one that (a) used a sample population that was diverse in terms of age, disability population, and type of ATD being used; (b) measured user-reported dependent variables with instruments designed specifically for the study; (c) did not report adequate information on the reliability and validity for the measurement instruments that were used; (d) did not discuss the staff workload associated with learning, administering, and scoring its data collection tools; and (e) did not differentiate its findings in terms of distinguishable participant subgroups. Several suggestions are provided to guide future development of assistive technology outcome measures in the domains of usability, quality of life, and social role performance. In addition, seven recommendations are offered to outcomes researchers, policy makers, journal editors, and reviewers in order to improve the reporting of assistive technology outcomes research.
Lenker, JA; Scherer, MJ; Fuhrer, MJ; Jutai, JW; DeRuyter, F
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