Category: International; Cross-Cutting; Technology (e.g. robotics, assistive technology, mHealth)
Objective : To assess the effectiveness of smartphones for disseminating rehabilitation skills training to healthcare practitioners in resource-poor settings.
Design : A two-group quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of video-based skills training. Participants were community-based rehabilitation (CBR) workers in West Bengal, India who were randomly assigned to treatment group (baseline training and smartphones hosting videos) or control group (baseline training only) for a 4-week period.
Setting : Community-based setting
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) :
A convenience sample of 24 CBR workers was recruited from urban and rural areas in West Bengal.
Interventions : All participants received a 1-hour baseline training on adaptive feeding strategies to support children with cerebral palsy, which included video modules and 30-minutes of hands-on practice. The control group was encouraged to apply these intervention strategies with appropriate families over a 4-week period. The intervention group received smartphones pre-loaded with video demonstrations of the adaptive feeding strategies and were encouraged to apply the strategies with appropriate families over the same period.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : The intervention group provided quantitative usability ratings for the smartphone-based videos. Post-intervention focus groups yielded qualitative data about the experiences of both groups.
Results : The intervention group reported increased self-confidence and credibility with caregivers when offering mealtime suggestions that were supported by the smartphone videos. In contrast, the control group reported apprehension when making mealtime suggestions based solely on their memories of the baseline training.
Conclusions : The smartphone-based videos enabled the intervention group to (a) reinforce the skills training with on-demand video review, and (b) provide caregivers with video support for specific interventions. These findings suggest that smartphones can offer valuable remote support to practitioners in resource-poor settings.