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Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation:
Articles

Portable Electronic Devices as Memory and Organizational Aids After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Consumer Survey Study

Hart, Tessa PhD; Buchhofer, Regina BS; Vaccaro, Monica MS

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Abstract

Objective: To ascertain consumer experiences and attitudes regarding the use of portable electronic devices as memory and organizational aids after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Design: Survey study.

Setting: Post-acute TBI rehabilitation programs, research registries.

Participants: Eighty persons with moderate to severe TBI interviewed a median of 3.7 years postinjury.

Outcome Measure: Survey administered in structured interview format, analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Results: Two thirds of participants reported regular use of computers, but fewer than one third had experience with handheld computers or similar devices. Interest in using portable devices for everyday memory and organizational tasks was higher than the expressed need for improvement in participants' current strategies. Respondents expressed reliable preferences for key device features, including simplicity of use, technical support, and long-lasting battery power. Preferred functions included keeping track of money spent, remembering things to do, and remembering what other people say.

Conclusion: Portable electronic devices are acceptable or desirable by consumers with moderate to severe TBI for use as compensatory aids.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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