Older People as Partners in Assistive Technology Research: The Use of Focus Groups in the Design ProcessBy Seale, Jane; McCreadie, Claudine; Turner-Smith, Alan; Tinker, Anthea; Technology and Disability, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 21-29
Publication Date: 2002
Study using focus groups to explore older users’ perspectives on indoor mobility related assistive technology. A focus group is defined as a group interview focused on a particular topic and facilitated by a moderator. The study used 4 focus groups comprised of a total of 37 individuals, 30 of whom were women and all but one of whom were aged 70 or older. The 60-minute procedure consisted of discussions aided by 8 cards depicting an activity in or around the home that required mobility. Discussions focused on (1) Which tasks were the most difficult; (2) What current solutions were used to help with these problems; and (3) What new technologies or solutions would help. Problems that were most frequently identified were bending and reaching, climbing stairs, and finding information about assistive-technology products. Identified solutions to bending and reaching problems focused on adding to or adapting existing equipment and using devices such as grippers, while potential solutions suggested centered on lifting people to the height they wished to reach and providing something to hold on to. Solutions to climbing stairs offered included getting help from others and using existing devices such as stair lifts; new solutions focused on the position and design of banisters and handrails. Group members were less able to identify existing solutions to their information needs, referring mostly to getting help from professionals such as therapists, and suggesting increased accessibility of information equipment as a potential solution to information problems. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)
Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) (Web Site: http://www.aaate.net )
Link to text: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/42366/