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Assistive technology services: user experiences from the Faroe Islands, a small-scale society.

PURPOSE: In the Faroe Islands, an Assistive Technology (AT) Centre allocates and finances AT for all AT users. This study aimed to provide a preliminary evaluation of the Faroese AT services from a user perspective by using recommendations from the Horizontal European Activity on Rehabilitation Technology (HEART) study.

METHOD: The study enrolled 101 persons aged 8-95 (mean 69 years) using a study-specific questionnaire. The AT service delivery process (AT-SDP) questions included questions about the application and the implementation. User satisfaction was assessed with KWAZO and the service subscale of QUEST with seven and four questions, respectively. The sample and the steps in the AT-SDP were described with frequency distribution. The KWAZO and QUEST results were analysed item-by-item and grouped in "Satisfied" and "Not fully satisfied". A threshold of 33% was used to identify items rated "Not fully satisfied". Associations between items rated "Not fully satisfied" and the AT-SDP were assessed with statistical analysis.

RESULTS: The participants were mostly satisfied, but Instruction, Professional services and Follow-up were rated "not fully satisfied". The AT centre helped with application and implementation in 9.6% and 12% of the cases, respectively, and other institutions in 62.3% and 43.7% of the cases. No contact had been with professionals in 28.7% and 37.6% of the cases.

CONCLUSIONS: There was a low degree of satisfaction in different quality parameters. The role of the AT-center seemed reduced to delivering AT and the whole service delivery process appeared to be fragmented and not in line with HEART recommendations.

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