Evolving assistive technology provision during neurological rehabilitation for locked-in syndrome: a case study

This presentation aims to present a case study of the assistive technology intervention for a lady with locked-in syndrome during rehabilitation. The presentation will focus on the necessity to change and modify the equipment used as the patient’s functional ability, skills and needs changed over the course of rehabilitation and highlights the importance of multi-disciplinary assistive technology input during the active rehabilitation phase. The case study will particularly focus on the decision to provide a custom built head control (switch array) and the issues raised when considering the integration of her wheelchair controller with her AAC / computer access equipment.

M is a 56 year old lady admitted to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London with a diagnosis of brainstem and cerebellar infarction leading to locked-in syndrome. Over the course of her admission she started using technology with a head switch in bed to activate a nurse-call system and has progressed to use environmental control, dynamic screen AAC via two switch scanning for bilingual communication in English and Spanish, computer access via eye-gaze and powered wheelchair control using an array of head switches. The presentation will discuss the issues involved in clinical decision making and use video to demonstrate equipment solutions employed.