Assistive DevicesOccupational therapists provide patients with assistive devices for activities of daily living and self-care and for hearing, vision, and safety. Devices range from simple objects for daily use (e.g., plate guards, spoons with built-up handles, elastic shoelaces, doorknobs with rubber levers) to complex electronic devices such as voice-activated control systems.
Assistive devices are selected for a patient based upon 4 key criteria:
1. Effectiveness - The extent to which the function of the device improves one's living situation, functional capability, or independence
2. Affordability - The extent to which the purchase, maintenance, or repair of the device causes financial difficulty
3. Operability - The extent to which the device is easy to operate and responds adequately to demands
4. Dependability - The extent to which the device operates with repeatable and predictable levels of accuracy under conditions of reasonable use.
Batavia DI, Hammer CS: Toward the development of consumer-based action for the evaluation of assistive devices. J Rehabil Res Dev 1990; 27: 419-24.