Classification of assistive technology services: Implications for outcomes research
This paper evaluates four classifications of assistive technology (AT) services for their ability to support outcomes research. The evaluation involved classifications intended for various purposes, including those created to support practitioner education and third-party reimbursement decisions. Each was analyzed according to a common framework: a) purpose, b) completeness, c) granularity, and d) research application. Each classification addresses the gamut of service provision steps, including client intake, assessment, and training, as well as device maintenance and repair. The classifications differed markedly in the granularity with which each step is described. None of the classifications attempts to dimensionalize the service provision steps in terms of intensity, duration, frequency, or other indicators of service quality. The findings suggest that existing AT service classifications do not fully meet the needs of AT outcomes researchers. A common taxonomy of AT services is thus needed to advance the science of AT device outcomes research. A preliminary classification of services is presented as a basis for future development. © 2012-IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.
Lenker, JA; Shoemaker, LL; Fuhrer, MJ; Jutai, JW; Demers, L; Tan, CH; Deruyter, F
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