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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

Rivista di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa dopo Eventi Patologici


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2016 February;52(1):48-56

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Recommendations and settings of word prediction software by health-related professionals for patients with spinal cord injury: a prospective observational study

Samuel POUPLIN 1-4, Nicolas ROCHE 3-5, Caroline HUGERON 2, Isabelle VAUGIER 4, Djamel BENSMAIL 1-4

1 New Technologies Plate‑Form, AP‑HP Raymond Poincaré Teaching Hospital, Garches, France; 2 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, AP‑HP Raymond Poincaré Teaching Hospital, Garches, France; 3 EA 4497, GRCTH University of Versailles St‑Quentin‑en‑Yvelines, France; 4 Clinical Innovations Center 1429, AP‑HP Raymond Poincaré Teaching Hospital, Garches, France; 5 Physiology – Functional Testing Ward, AP‑HP Raymond Poincaré Teaching Hospital, Garches, France


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BACKGROUND: For people with cervical spinal cord injury (SCI), access to computers can be difficult, thus several devices have been developed to facilitate their use. However, text input speed remains very slow compared to users who do not have a disability, even with these devices. Several methods have been developed to increase text input speed, such as word prediction software (WPS). Health-related professionals (HRP) often recommend this type of software to people with cervical SCI. WPS can be customized using different settings. It is likely that the settings used will influence the effectiveness of the software on text input speed. However, there is currently a lack of literature regarding professional practices for the setting of WPS as well as the impact for users.
AIM: To analyze word prediction software settings used by HRP for people with cervical SCI.
DESIGN: Prospective observational study.
SETTING: Garches, France; health-related professionals who recommend Word Prediction Software.
METHODS: A questionnaire was submitted to HRP who advise tetraplegic people regarding the use of communication devices.
RESULTS: A total of 93 professionals responded to the survey. The most frequently recommended software was Skippy, a commercially available software. HRP rated the importance of the possibility to customise the settings as high. Moreover, they rated some settings as more important than others (P<0.001). However, except for the number of words displayed, each setting was configured by less than 50% of HRP. The results showed that there was a difference between the perception of the importance of some settings and data in the literature regarding the optimization of settings. Moreover, although some parameters were considered as very important, they were rarely specifically configured. Confidence in default settings and lack of information regarding optimal settings seem to be the main reasons for this discordance. This could also explain the disparate results of studies which evaluated the impact of WPS on text input speed in people with cervical SCI.
CONCLUSION: The results showed that there was a difference between the perception of the importance of some settings and data in the literature regarding the optimization of settings. Moreover, although some parameters were considered as very important, they were rarely specifically configured. Confidence in default settings and lack of information regarding optimal settings seem to be the main reasons for this discordance. This could also explain the disparate results of studies which evaluated the impact of WPS on text input speed in people with cervical SCI.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Professionals tend to have confidence in default settings, despite the fact they are not always appropriate for users. It thus seems essential to develop information networks and training to disseminate the results of studies and in consequence possibly improve communication for people with cervical SCI who use such devices.

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Pouplin S, Roche N, Hugeron C, Vaugier I, Bensmail D. Recommendations and settings of word prediction software by health-related professionals for patients with spinal cord injury: a prospective observational study. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2016 February;52(1):48-56. 

Corresponding author e-mail

samuel.pouplin@rpc.aphp.fr