Assisting persons with advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in their leisure engagement and communication needs with a basic technology-aided program

Giulio E. Lancioni, Isabella L. Simone, Maria F. De Caro, Nirbhay N. Singh, Mark F. O'Reilly, Jeff Sigafoos, Gabriele Ferlisi, Valeria Zullo, Simona Schirone, Floriana Denitto, Nadia Zonno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Eye-tracking communication devices and brain-computer interfaces are the two resources available to help people with advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) avoid isolation and passivity. OBJECTIVE: This study was aimed at assessing a technology-aided program (i.e., a third possible resource) for five patients with advanced ALS who needed support for communication and leisure activities. METHODS: The participants were exposed to baseline and intervention conditions. The technology-aided program, which was used during the intervention, (a) included the communication and leisure options that each participant considered important for him or her (e.g., music, videos, statements/requests, and text messaging) and (b) allowed the participant to access those options with minimal responses (e.g., finger movement or eyelid closure) monitored via microswitches. RESULTS: The participants started leisure and communication engagement independently only during the intervention (i.e., when the program was used). The mean percentages of session time spent in those forms of engagement were between about 60 and 80. Preference checks and brief interviews indicated that participants and families liked the program. CONCLUSIONS: The program might be viewed as an additional approach/resource for patients with advanced ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroRehabilitation
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 6 2015

Keywords

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • communication
  • leisure
  • microswitches
  • technology-aided program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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  • Cite this

    Lancioni, G. E., Simone, I. L., De Caro, M. F., Singh, N. N., O'Reilly, M. F., Sigafoos, J., Ferlisi, G., Zullo, V., Schirone, S., Denitto, F., & Zonno, N. (2015). Assisting persons with advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in their leisure engagement and communication needs with a basic technology-aided program. NeuroRehabilitation, 36(3), 355-365. https://doi.org/10.3233/NRE-151224