UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Perspectives of users for a future interactive wearable system for upper extremity rehabilitation following stroke : a qualitative study Yang, Chieh-ling; Chui, Rochelle; Mortenson, W. Ben; Servati, Peyman; Servati, Amir; Tashakori, Arvin; Eng, Janice


Background: Wearable sensor technology can facilitate diagnostics and monitoring of people with upper extremity (UE) paresis after stroke. The purpose of this study is to investigate the perspectives of clinicians, people living with stroke, and their caregivers on an interactive wearable system that detects UE movements and provides feedback. Methods This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews relating to the perspectives of a future interactive wearable system including a wearable sensor to capture UE movement and a user interface to provide feedback as the means of data collection. Ten rehabilitation therapists, 9 people with stroke, and 2 caregivers participated in this study. Results Four themes were identified (1) “Everyone is different” highlighted the need for addressing individual user’s rehabilitation goal and personal preference; (2) “The wearable system should identify UE and trunk movements” emphasized that in addition to arm, hand, and finger movements, detecting compensatory trunk movements during UE movements is also of interest; (3) “Both quality and amount of movements are necessary to measure” described the parameters related to how well and how much the user is using their affected UE that participants envisioned the system to monitor; (4) “Functional activities should be practiced by the users” outlined UE movements and activities that are of priority in designing the system. Conclusions Narratives from clinicians, people with stroke, and their caregivers offer insight into the design of interactive wearable systems. Future studies examining the experience and acceptability of existing wearable systems from end-users are warranted to guide the adoption of this technology.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)