The Q bell: experiences of patients with disabilities utilising a new call bell system


The Q-bell is a newly developed call bell system that aims to simplify the lives of people living with disabilities by providing a means for them to easily summon assistance from caregivers when needed. The product is designed to be hands free so that a patient only must exert minimal pressure on the device with any part of the body such as the cheek to call for attention. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of disabled participants regarding the functionality of the Q-bell systems during their stay in a care facility. To achieve this aim, an exploratory, descriptive, contextual, qualitative design was decided upon. There was a paucity of similar studies and this method was deemed the most effective method to fully grasp, contextualize and interpret the experiences of the research participants following the use of the Q-bell. The research population included all people with disabilities who were in care facilities. A purposive sampling method was used to identify a small number of disabled participants in care facilities to use the Q-bell. The researcher approached selected facilities and the residents in their care who had limited to no function of their hands and arms to test the Q-bell. The participants were given the Q-bell to use for 2-3 days, after which semi-structured interviews with participating individuals were conducted. Due to difficulties the researcher had with the infrastructure at the facilities eight participants were approached and interviewed in this study. All the interviews were conducted in private, but face to face, at the bedside of each participant, in the facilities of care. Digital voice recordings of these interviews were made after informed consent being sought from the participants. Verbatim transcripts of the recordings were made and a thematic analysis using Tesch’s method, was performed by the researcher followed by a consensus meeting with the independent coder. Ethical considerations such as beneficence, justice, autonomy, informed consent was adhered to by the researcher. Trustworthiness was achieved by following Guba’s principles of credibility, applicability, consistency and neutrality. Three themes emerged from the data analysis. Theme one highlighted the participants’ experiences whilst using the Q-bell. Theme two reflected the positive characteristics of the Q-bell when compared to other call devices the participants might have used while theme three posed possible recommendations the participants had to possibly improve on the design of the Q-bell. The research report concludes with the research limitations and recommendations

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Nelson Mandela University

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This paper was published in Nelson Mandela University.

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