Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 7, 2011
   Pages 801 — 822

Abstract —  Usability testing of multimodal feedback interface and simulated collision-avoidance power wheelchair for long-term-care home residents with cognitive impairments

Rosalie H. Wang, PhD, BSc (OT);1-3* Alex Mihailidis, PhD, PEng;1-5 Tilak Dutta, PhD(c), MASc;1,5 Geoff R. Fernie, PhD, PEng1-6

1iDAPT, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, Canada; 2Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, 3Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, 4Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, 5Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and 6Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Abstract — Many older adults in long-term-care homes have complex physical and cognitive impairments and have difficulty propelling manual wheelchairs. Power wheelchair use is restricted owing to safety concerns. Power wheelchairs with collision-avoidance features are being developed to enable safe and independent mobility; however, a paucity of information exists on interface features to help users navigate away from obstacles. We developed a system combining an interface with auditory, visual, and haptic feedback and a simulated collision-avoidance power wheelchair. This device allowed the investigator to stop movement of the power wheelchair when users approached obstacles and to deliver feedback to help them navigate. Five long-term-care home residents with mild or moderate cognitive impairments evaluated device usability, which included effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction. Each resident used the device for six 1 h sessions. Observations, feedback interviews, and outcome questionnaires were completed during and after the sessions. We found the device effective in enabling residents to achieve basic driving tasks and self-identified indoor mobility goals. Furthermore, residents perceived workload to be low and were satisfied with the device. Residents also felt that the feedback was useful to help them navigate away from obstacles.

Key words: auditory feedback, cognitive impairment, collision-avoidance power wheelchair, haptic, joystick, long-term-care home, multimodal feedback, older adult, power mobility, smart power wheelchair, usability, user interface, user satisfaction, visual feedback.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No. 7
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Wang RH, Mihailidis A, Dutta T, Fernie GR. Usability testing of multimodal feedback interface and simulated collision-avoidance power wheelchair for long-term-care home residents with cognitive impairments. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(7):801-22.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2010.08.0147
ResearcherID: Rosalie H. Wang, PhD, BSc (OT): D-3743-2011
Crossref
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2010.08.0147

Last Reviewed or Updated  Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:43 PM

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