This paper shows the significance of using a qualitative research approach to supplement Assistive Technology (AT) outcomes studies. It reports results from a 30-month outcomes study conducted at Helen Hayes Hospital. Two measures (ATOM 1.0 and OT FACT) were administered at three time intervals for each subject. Correlations between these instruments were low at all three intervals, despite the overlap expected from similar functional constructs in both measures. Subsequent contextualization of these results from field notes compiled by the researcher throughout the study illuminated apparent discontinuities that would otherwise have remained hidden. These findings underscored the importance of controlling, either statistically or methodologically, for these variables during analysis when measuring AT outcomes.
outcomes; qualitative research; assistive technology.
Frances H. Harris, PhD
Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access
Georgia Institute of Technology
490 Tenth St.,
Atlanta, GA 30318
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