Using rhythm for rehabilitation: the acceptability of a novel haptic cueing device in extended stroke rehabilitation

Tetley, Josephine Wendy; Holland, Simon; Caton, Sue; Donaldson, Glynis; Georgiou, Theodoros; Visi, Federico and Stockley, Rachel Christina (2022). Using rhythm for rehabilitation: the acceptability of a novel haptic cueing device in extended stroke rehabilitation. Journal of Enabling Technologies, 16(4) pp. 290–301.



Purpose - Restoration of walking ability is a key goal to both stroke survivors and their therapists. However, the intensity and duration of rehabilitation available after stroke can be limited by service constraints, despite the potential for improvement which could reduce health service demands in the long run. The purpose of this paper is to present qualitative findings from a study that explored the acceptability of a haptic device aimed at improving walking as part of an extended intervention in stroke rehabilitation.

Design/methodology/approach - Pre-trial focus groups and post-trial interviews to assess the acceptability of Haptic Bracelets were undertaken with seven stroke survivors.

Findings - Five themes were identified as impacting on the acceptability of the Haptic Bracelet: potential for improving quality of life; relationships with technology; important features; concerns; response to trial and concentration. Participants were interested in the haptic bracelet and hoped it would provide them with more confidence making them: feel safer when walking; have greater ability to take bigger strides rather than little steps; a way to combat mistakes participants reported making due to tiredness and reduced pain in knees and hips.

Originality/value - Haptic Bracelets are an innovative development in the field of rhythmic cueing and stroke rehabilitation. The haptic bracelets also overcome problems encountered with established audio-based cueing, as their use is not affected by external environmental noise.

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