25/03/2010 Engineering Medicine
DOI: 10.1080/09544820802441092 SemanticScholar ID: 109463674 MAG: 1978114910

Engaging children in healthcare technology design: developing rehabilitation technology for children with cerebral palsy

Publication Summary

This paper presents a case study of users’ involvement in the design and evaluation of two devices for upper limb rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy to use in their homes. The devices comprise a computer game and a force feedback interface, designed to stimulate children with cerebral palsy to undertake fun arm exercises that are beneficial in terms of improving overall functional use of their impaired arm. This device was developed for children using a combination of informal and formal user-centred design methods. The methods used include standard questionnaires, interviews, a modified peer tutoring process and a comparative method, and have been applied to the iterative design of both the hardware and software components of the rehabilitation systems. Thirty-seven non-disabled children and 15 children with cerebral palsy in the 5–12-year-old age group were involved in the evaluation, held at six local primary schools. Prototypes of the final design were used by 18 patients with cerebral palsy for approximately 4 weeks as a therapeutic intervention. To evaluate the designs, qualitative and questionnaire-based opinion was sought from these children, and their parents, at the end of the intervention. An evaluation of the methodologies employed is presented.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Nick Preston

Dr. Nick Preston

University of Leeds - Research Fellow

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