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Mobile device accessibility with 3D printed devices for individuals with physical disabilities.

PURPOSE: Disparities may disproportionately exist for those with disabilities when using mobile devices, which are critical for independence in activities such as socialization and leisure. Prior 3D printing studies in rehabilitation have not focused on mobile device access to everyday preferred activities.

METHODS: This study examined user satisfaction, self-rated performance and satisfaction with daily activities while using the mobile device, and the feasibility of customized 3D printed assistive devices. The design was a one-group, quantitative pre-test to post-test study of individuals ( n  = 10) residing in long-term care with a physical disability due to a neurological condition.

RESULTS: Satisfaction with the 3D printed device, as compared to the previously used assistive device, was significantly higher ( p  = 0.005), as well as improvements in self-rated daily activity performance ( p  = 0.016) and satisfaction ( p  = 0.037), with acceptability and satisfaction of the intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that 3D printing is feasible with a potential increase in user satisfaction through a customization process that is client centred.

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