ObjectiveTo explore exercise professionals' perspectives on technology integration for balance and mobility assessment practices in retirement and long-term care.
SettingA private residential care organization in Ontario, Canada, with 18 sites providing accommodation and services for older adults.
DesignA qualitative descriptive approach was used including semistructured focus group interviews. Open-ended questions explored perceptions of technology integration along with factors influencing its adoption. Analysis involved preliminary coding based on research questions, review and discussion of emerging themes, and final, resultant coding for each category.
ParticipantsExercise professionals (kinesiologists and exercise therapists) (N=18).
Main outcome measuresNot applicable.
ResultsAll participants felt that technology could enhance their practice by supporting programming, communication, and/or information management. Potential barriers to technology integration related primarily to the need to accommodate the broad range of complex health conditions present among clients, which would impact (1) their ability to engage with the technology and (2) relevance of technology-derived outcomes. Specific concerns related to individuals with significant cognitive and/or functional impairment. Solutions to these barriers emphasized the need for flexible technology and appropriate normative data to maximize the potential for uptake.
ConclusionsThe participating exercise professionals working in a retirement and long-term care setting saw technology as a potentially effective addition to current clinical practice. To increase the likelihood for clinical uptake, technology must be maximize flexibility in order to accommodate a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities and meet specific needs related to setting and job responsibilities. The findings emphasize the need for continuous dialogue between technology producers and end users for successful development and implementation.
SUBMITTER: Van Ooteghem K