Mainstream technology to support basic communication and leisure in people with neurological disorders, motor impairment and lack of speech

Giulio E. Lancioni, Nirbhay N. Singh, Mark F. O’Reilly, Jeff Sigafoos, Fiora D’Amico, Francesca Buonocunto, Crocefissa Lanzilotti, Gloria Alberti, Jorge Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To assess a simple technology solution to support basic communication and leisure in people with neurological disorders, extensive motor impairment, and absence of speech. Design: The design was a non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants. Methods: The study included eight participants and assessed a technology setup including a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 LTE tablet and a Samsung Galaxy A3 smartphone. The smartphone, automated via MacroDroid, presented the participant with leisure, messages, and caregiver options. Choosing leisure or messages (by activating the smartphone’s proximity sensor) led the smartphone to present the alternatives available for that option and eventually verbalize the alternative selected. This verbalization triggered the tablet’s Google Assistant and led the tablet to present a leisure event or start a message exchange. Choosing the caregiver led the smartphone to invite the caregiver to interact with the participant. Results: During baseline (i.e., when a standard smartphone was available), the participants did not activate any of the options. During intervention and post-intervention (i.e., with the technology described above), participants activated all options and spent most of the session time positively engaged with them. Conclusions: The aforementioned technology seems to be a useful tool for individuals like those involved in this study.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Injury
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 1 2020

Keywords

  • communication
  • leisure
  • motor impairment
  • Neurological disorders
  • smartphone
  • tablet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology

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