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Graz, Austria

Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2011

A questionnaire measuring difficulties with toileting and users preferred solutions was developed as part of the User Needs Research Design. It was disseminated in five European countries. This questionnaire was conceived as building a bridge between technological and non-technological aspects of toileting. In this paper, the most relevant outcomes of this questionnaire will be reported. In the beginning the general characteristics of the sample will be described, thus providing background knowledge for the interpretation of results. The purpose of using this questionnaire was threefold. First, it delivered quantified insights into the need for new technology in this area by assessing the extent to which the lack of usable toilets de facto reduces the quality of life of elderly and disabled persons, therefore justifying the effort spent in the development of innovative solutions. Second, it assessed the frequency of various difficulties with toileting and the acceptance of proposed solutions and assisting devices, thus guaranteeing a development process steered by users towards an AT (assistive technology) device that allows for an improved quality of life. And third, the questionnaire gave an insight into cultural differences with toileting throughout Europe, thus ensuring that AT products developed in this area in the future can offer tailored solutions. © 2011 The authors. All rights reserved. Source

Daye C.,EURAG | Egger De Campo M.,EURAG
Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2011

Within the FRR-project, user involvement was understood as a core task of researchers, designers and developers in the consortium, urging them strongly to justify their decisions with comments and expectations from potential users. What distinguishes our research structure from most other approaches to user involvement is the fact that, from the very beginning, primary and secondary users as well as representatives from the ethical review team had a say in structuring the research procedures and choosing the appropriate methods. Not only design decisions, but also research decisions were agreed with user representatives. In order to achieve that in an effective manner, we relied on a structure that combined continuous and specialized ways of collaboration with the user. This way of structuring user-driven research developed within the FRR-project constitutes an approach that could be used as a model for similar research projects, especially for those involving vulnerable users. © 2011 The authors. All rights reserved. Source

Gentile N.,EURAG | Gentile N.,Compass Inc. | Daye C.,EURAG | Edelmayer G.,Vienna University of Technology | And 5 more authors.
Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2011

The last phase of the Friendly Rest Room (FRR)-project was explicitly dedicated to the validation of the conceptual and technical solutions developed within the preceding years. Validation in this context means to assess whether the project has reached its objectives. As FRR is a project within the Quality of Life Programme, the main objective was to contribute to an enhancement of the quality of life of old people (and people with disabilities). In order to be able to investigate whether the quality of life of the target group could be improved by the toilet system developed within the FRR-project, a prototype must be set up in an adequate context, i.e., in an area where, in contrast to a laboratory situation, a 'normal' use is possible. This chapter describes the concept and the setting up of a real life installation of an improved toilet system which was carried out at a day care centre in Vienna, Austria. Furthermore, first results from this validation phase (29 primary users and 12 secondary users carried out 316 toilet sessions over a period of two months) are reported. It could be shown that the new toilet system increases safety and autonomy from point of view of primary and secondary users and that the toilet was more than well accepted in the day to day practice of the day care centre. © 2011 The authors. All rights reserved. Source

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