Development of a classification of mobility-related assistive technology devices
Shoemaker, Laura Louise
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A limitation of effectiveness research involving mobility-related assistive technology devices is that device and service interventions have been vaguely described. As a result, clinicians have a weak foundation of evidence upon which to base their recommendations of mobility devices and features. A contributing factor to this problem is that researchers lack a common typology of mobility devices. To address this need, a prototype mobility-related assistive technology device classification was created. This paper describes the process to establish the content validity of the new classification. Five mobility device experts were engaged in a modified Delphi process involving three rounds of expert feedback. The process yielded consensus agreement on the structure and terminology for a common mobility device classification. The new classification will support development of a clinician friendly tool that will enable researchers to systematically capture key features of mobility-related ATDs. Additional applications of the new classification, such as educational and training benefits for consumers and professionals, are discussed.