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Open AccessArticle

Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Technologies for Mobility and Their Implications for Active Ageing

Department of Physiotherapy, IPC ESTeSC Coimbra Health School, Coimbra 3046-854, Portugal
Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra 3046-854, Portugal
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manoj Gupta
Technologies 2016, 4(3), 28;
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 29 August 2016 / Accepted: 29 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
Purpose: Active ageing is defined as the process of optimizing opportunities for physical, social and mental health to enable older people to actively take part in society without discrimination and to enjoy independence and good quality of life. The World Health Organization assumed this to be a process for increasing and maintaining an individual’s participation in activities to enhance his/her quality of life. In this survey, the authors addressed the following question: is assistive technology (AT) for mobility contributing to enhancement of lifelong capacity and performance? Method: From June 2015 until February 2016, 96 community dwelling adults, AT users for mobility (powered wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, lower limb prostheses, walkers, crutches and canes), aged 45–97, mean 67.02 ± 14.24 years old, 56.3% female, were interviewed using the Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale (P-PIADS), the Activities and Participation Profile related to Mobility (APPM) and demographics, clinical and questions about AT use and training. Results and Discussion: The participants’ profiles revealed moderate limitation and restrictions in participation, measured by the APPM (2.03). Most participants displayed a positive impact from AT; average scores obtained from the P-PIADS subscales were: Self-esteem 0.62, Competency 1.11 and Adaptability 1.10. The P-PIADS total was 0.96, with the powered wheelchair users scoring the highest (1.53) and the walker users scoring the lowest (0.73). All subscales and the P-PIADS total were positively correlated with the activities and participation profile. There was no relation between age and the psychosocial impact of AT or activities and participation profile. These results encourage the authors to follow up with these participants for a lifelong intervention. To accomplish that aim, currently, the protocol is implemented at the AT prescribing centers in Coimbra, Portugal in order to assess the impact of AT on participation in society, one of the domains of the Active Ageing Index, a new analytical tool to help policy makers in developing policies for active and healthy ageing. View Full-Text
Keywords: active ageing; social participation; mobility; assistive technologies; service delivery active ageing; social participation; mobility; assistive technologies; service delivery
MDPI and ACS Style

Martins, A.C.; Pinheiro, J.; Farias, B.; Jutai, J. Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Technologies for Mobility and Their Implications for Active Ageing. Technologies 2016, 4, 28.

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