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The impact on objective quality of life outcomes of assistive technology in residential services for people with learning disabilities

By Jonathan Perry and Stephen Richard Beyer


The UK government is committed to preventative technologies and increasingly they are being incorporated into residential services for people with learning disabilities. This paper describes an evaluation of a sample of settings in which various assistive technology (AT) devices have been installed following the assessment of individual residents' needs. The impact of this on residents' objective quality of life was assessed using a range of quantitative measures and through some qualitative questions. Despite some positive consequences of the AT being reported by staff in response to the qualitative items, there was no significant impact on any of the quantitative measures. In isolation, AT does not appear to be sufficient to significantly improve objective quality of life outcomes for people with learning disabilities in residential services. Equally, AT does not appear to reduce objective quality of life outcomes. The challenge to service providers is to ensure that the introduction of AT and any associated change to staffing levels or support procedures translates into improvements in residents' overall quality of life. To detect such improvements future research might have to broaden the range of quantitative methods used and supplement them with qualitative techniques

Topics: R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Emerald
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1108/17549450200900002
OAI identifier: oai:
Provided by: ORCA
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