Assistive technology in Australia: integrating theory and evidence into action

Steel, Emily J. and Layton, Natasha A. (2016) Assistive technology in Australia: integrating theory and evidence into action. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 63 (6). pp. 381-390. ISSN 0045-0766

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Abstract

Background: Occupational therapists use a range of strategies to influence the relationship between person, environment and occupation and facilitate people's participation and inclusion in society. Technology is a fundamental environmental factor capable of enabling inclusion, and occupational therapy models articulate a role for assistive technology (AT) devices and services, but there is a gap between theory, research and practice. The context of AT provision in Australia presents systemic barriers that prevent optimal application of AT devices and services for societal health promotion and in individualised solutions. Methods: The Integrating Theory, Evidence and Action method (ITEA) was used to answer the question ‘How can occupational therapy support AT provision to enable older people and people with disability?’ A wide range of sources were systematically analysed to explore the complexities of AT provision in Australia. Results: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and IMPACT2 model are used as frameworks to reconstruct evidence into statements that summarise the theory, process and outcomes of AT provision. Analysis of the influence of the global disability rights and local policies and AT provision systems is used to highlight important aspects for occupational therapists to consider in research and practice. Pragmatic recommendations are provided to enable practitioners to translate theory and evidence into action.
Conclusion
AT provision can be improved by focusing on evidence for and congruence between theory, process and outcomes, rather than isolated interventions. Occupational therapists should consider the influence of contextual factors on practice, and work with consumers to improve access and equity in AT provision systems.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 22:44
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2017 02:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: assistive technology; disability policy; ICF; occupational therapy; outcomes measurement
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111703 Care for Disabled
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110321 Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl. Physiotherapy)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160508 Health Policy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920403 Disability and Functional Capacity
C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/1440-1630.12293
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33332

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