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Technology for dementia : attitudes and practices of occupational therapists in providing assistive technology for way finding

One of the many difficulties a person with dementia can experience is
difficulty with way finding and subsequently getting lost in the community.
Prescriptions of assistive technology are a key role for occupational therapists.
This study aimed to describe the attitudes and practices of occupational
therapists in recommending and using assistive technology for persons with
dementia who have difficulties with way finding in the community. METHODS: An
online survey was distributed to members of Occupational Therapy Australia NSW
and included 25 items on demographics, frequency of use of assistive technology
and assessment. RESULTS: A total of 85 occupational therapists responded to the
survey. Significant differences were identified in the approaches used, the types
of assistive technology used and the evaluation of outcomes, between
community-based and hospital-based occupational therapists. Over half of the
participants had never prescribed any of the assistive devices listed in the
survey for people with dementia. The most frequently prescribed assistive devices
were low-tech items that were already freely available to carers and other
professions. CONCLUSION: Therapists used a conservative approach to problem
solving with their clients with dementia. There is a limited understanding from
occupational therapists about available interventions for people with dementia.
Implications for Rehabilitation There is limited awareness on how assistive
technology might be used to support occupational performance for persons with
dementia. This survey suggests that occupational therapists experience barriers
in identifying and providing appropriate assistive technology for this group.
Access to targeted education and online resources for occupational therapists is
recommended to provide better awareness of the types of assistive technology
available to assist persons with dementia and their caregivers.

Langue : ANGLAIS

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