Abandonment

There is a great deal of dissatisfaction among AT adopters with currently prescribed ATs. Simple ones, such as contact lenses, are abandoned at a high rate (up to 50%), hearing aids and wheel chairs are frequently traded in for other models, and even mechanical ventilators are sometimes abandoned by a PWD with no alternative but death. The reasons for abandonment are many and have been studied recently by a growing number of psychologists.

The most common reason for abandonment is that the device or program is not flexible for a PWD who is undergoing change. For example, a person using a walker may lose more control over his or her gait and is forced to adopt a wheelchair instead of the walker, or someone wearing eyeglasses may resort to laser surgery that results in abandonment of the AT because the person's vision has now improved. But many other reasons for abandonment can be identified that are specific to the AT and the individual's interaction. Although early research focused mainly on the physical properties of the AT device, more recently the direction has shifted to looking also at person variables and the fit between the two, termed the Matching Person and Technology Model, designed to measure satisfaction, including the motivational, personality, gender, and psychosocial factors that affect this fit. Anumber of questionnaires are now available to measure satisfaction of consumers with ATs as an outcome variable. While concerned with satisfaction derived from adopting an AT, they focus directly on positive and negative aspects of the psychosocial life of the consumer and attempt to account for the high rate of dissatisfaction.

York University, Toronto, Ontario See also: Aging and Intelligence; Quality of Life

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