Finding the Right Fit: What Contributes to the Successful Use of Speech Generating Devices?

Assist Technol. 2022 Dec 28. doi: 10.1080/10400435.2022.2161668. Online ahead of print.


Roughly 10% of adults in the US report having a communication disability (Morris et al. 2016) and 7.7% of children ages three to seventeen have communication disorders (Black et al. 2015). One intervention utilized by rehabilitation professionals to overcome the problem is the use of speech-generating devices. Although the majority of users benefit from these tools, it is reported that roughly one third eventually abandon them. Existing literature suggests a variety of factors that lead to abandonment, yet the phenomenon continues. This study seeks to understand what constitutes successful device use through a qualitative study that examines the experiences of self-reported speech generating device users to identify commonalities to offer practitioners guidance in prescribing these devices. The data from this study resulted in three preliminary themes: 1) match between user and device attributes, 2) presence of communication partner support, 3) value of occupational roles and routines and their motivational benefit for device use.

PMID:36576047 | DOI:10.1080/10400435.2022.2161668

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