Tailoring technologies to the rehabilitational needs of stroke survivors

Rennick-Egglestone, Stefan (2014) Tailoring technologies to the rehabilitational needs of stroke survivors. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Stroke is a major cause of physical disability. Recovery is possible, and can continue indefinitely. As such, much of it will take place at home, often with minimal support from professional therapists. As computing becomes more pervasive and familiar, opportunities exist to design technology to support rehabilitation in the home environment. However, given the varied nature of disabilities caused by stroke, there is a need for a greater understanding of how to design technology that is sufficiently tailored to the needs of individuals and which is appropriate for usage in their homes. This thesis offers an exploration of these issues, through a series of research activities constructed around the direct participation of stroke survivors and their families.

The core of this thesis begins with a consideration of a focus group which was attended by survivors of stroke and their partners. Recorded discussions provide a rich insight into their collective experience of living with stroke, and the implications of these findings for the design of effective rehabilitation technologies are considered. The design of bespoke technologies which were directly tailored to the rehabilitational needs and personal motivations of four stroke survivors is then described. Prototypes of these technologies were deployed for periods ranging from one to seven months. Data recorded throughout this entire process provides a detailed understanding of the factors that have influenced their design, use and impact.

Through an analysis of material collected during all of these engagements, this thesis presents a set of contributions which can support the design of better home-based rehabilitation technologies in the future. These contributions support a more general understanding of the interactional needs of individuals who have experienced a dramatic and potentially traumatic change in their life, and of mechanisms for tailoring persuasive computing technologies to the specific motivations of those who use them.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Keywords: stroke, rehabilitation, survivors, technology, assistive computer technology
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WL Nervous system
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 14153
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2014 09:12
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 16:04
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/14153

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