Research Study: Everyday life for adults with ADHD
Cognitive assistive technology and professional support in everyday life for adults with ADHD.
Helena Lindstedt & Õie Umb-Carlsson
An evaluation of a model of intervention in everyday settings, consisting of cognitive assistive technology (CAT) and support provided by occupational therapists to adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The purpose was to study how professional support and CAT facilitate everyday life and promote community participation of adults with ADHD.
Method: The intervention was implemented in five steps and evaluated in a 15-month study (March 2006 = T1 to June 2007 = T2). One questionnaire and one protocol describe the CATs and provided support. Two questionnaires were employed at T1 and T2 for evaluation of the intervention in everyday settings. Results: The participants tried 74 CATs, with weekly schedules, watches and weighted blankets being most highly valued. Carrying out a daily routine was the most frequent support. More participants were working at T2 than at T1. Frequency of performing and satisfaction with daily occupations as well as life satisfaction were stable over the one-year period.
Conclusions: The results indicate a higher frequency of participating in work but only a tendency of increased subjectively experienced life satisfaction. However, to be of optimal usability, CAT requires individually tailored, systematic and structured support by specially trained professionals.
Implications for Rehabilitation
Adults with ADHD report an overall satisfaction with the cognitive assistive technology, particularly with low-technological products such as weekly schedules and weighted blankets.
Using cognitive assistive technology in everyday settings indicate a higher frequency of participating in work, but only a tendency of increased subjectively experienced life satisfaction for adults with ADHD.
Prescription of cognitive assistive technology to adults with ADHD in everyday settings requires individually tailored, systematic and structured support by specially trained professionals.
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