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Research project: Motivating Mobility: Interactive Systems to promote Physical Activity and Leisure for people with limited mobility - Dormant - Dormant

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This multi-centre interdisciplinary project seeks to explore how best to use novel arrangements of interactive and communication technologies for recovery of upper limb function post-stroke. Our broad approach is to motivate people to extend or maintain their activities using a combination of mobile technology and interactive personalised games, presented in familiar ways.

This project directly addresses a number of key research questions:

  • How do we best personalise approaches and treatments to the needs of individuals?
  • What is the most appropriate content to engage and motivate people?
  • Which arrangement of sensing and communication technologies is most acceptable and useful?
  • How do we best assess effectiveness of the approach?
  • How might we scale up this approach across the healthcare system?

Technology is becoming widely accepted in stroke rehabilitation. The advantages are that it enables more efficient use of therapy time, enables rehabilitation to continue outside the hospital environment and can be more engaging and motivating for patients.

Current technologies have not however addressed the specific needs of patients, taking into account not only their clinical requirements but also their personal preferences which may depend on their hobbies and interests as well as on their personal circumstances – the space available in their house for instance and whether they have support from a carer. The objective of this project are to co-design personalised rehabilitation

  • The identification and design in partnership with users of practical technological arrangements to support fun, games
    and real-world leisure activities that promotes and motivates therapeutic activity that are acceptable to them and meet the
    needs of those with mobility issues..
  • The development of engaging and stimulating content that both promotes therapeutic activity that will enhance recovery
    or maintenance of motor/cognitive skills and is fun to use in a way that is relevant to people and their particular condition
    and makes sense to all those involved.
  • The identification and assessment of the clinical benefits and accessibility of this approach in real world settings that
    outlines the potential advantages and pitfalls of this approach for the care community.
  • The development of a strategy to allow this form of treatment to be scaled up in order that it might be more widely used
    that identifies issues of cost, training and deployment needed to scale up this approach.

Project team

Dr Ann-Marie Hughes, Professor Jane Burridge

Project funder


Related research groups

Active Living and Rehabilitation

Conferences and events associated with this project:

Hughes, A. M., Burridge, J., Balaam, M., Harris, E., Rennick-Egglestone, S., Nind, T., Wilkinson, A. and Mawson, S. (2009) Motivating Mobility - An exploration of developing upper limb rehabilitation technology tailored to individual stroke patients needs. In: World Congress for neurorehabilitation, 21-25 March 2009, Vienna, Austria.

Balaam, M., Hughes, A. M., Rennick-Egglestone, S. and Nind, T. (2009) Rehabilitation Centred Design. In: CHI 2010 (ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), 10-15 April 2010, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Key Publication

  • Fitzpatrick, G., Balaam, M., Axelrod, L., Harris, E., McAllister, G., Hughes, A. M., Burridge, J. H., Nind, T., Ricketts, I., Wilkinson, A., Mawson, S., Rennick-Egglestone, S., Rodden, T., Probert Smith, P., Shublaq, N., & Robertson, Z. (2010). Designing for rehabilitation at home. Paper presented at ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, United States.
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