Robots and ICT to support play in children with severe physical disabilities: a systematic review

Renée van den Heuvel, M.A.S. Lexis, G.J. Gelderblom, R. Jansens, L.P. de Witte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Play is an essential part of children's lives. Children with physical disabilities experience difficulties in play, especially those with severe physical disabilities. With the progress of innovative technology, the possibilities to support play are increasing. The purpose of this literature study is to gain insight into the aims, control options and commercial availability of information and communication technology (ICT) and robots to support play (especially play for the sake of play) in children with severe physical disabilities. Methods: A systematic literature search in the databases PubMed, CINAHL, IEEE and ERIC was carried out. Titles and abstracts were assessed independently by three reviewers. In addition, studies were selected using Google Scholar, conference proceedings and reference lists. Results: Three main groups of technology for play could be distinguished: robots (n = 8), virtual reality systems (n = 15) and computer systems (n = 4). Besides, ICT and robots developed for specific therapy or educational goals using play-like activities, five of the in total 27 technologies in this study described the aim of "play for play's sake''. Conclusions: Many ICT systems and robots to support play in children with physical disabilities were found. Numerous technologies use play-like activities to achieve therapeutic or educational goals. Robots especially are used for `` play for play's sake''.

IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION

This study gives insight into the aims, control options and commercial availability for application of robots and ICT to support play in children with severe physical disabilities.

This overview can be used in both the fields of rehabilitation and special education to search for new innovative intervention options and it can stimulate them to use these innovative play materials.

Especially robots may have great potential in supporting "play for play's sake''.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-116
Number of pages14
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • ICF-CY
  • pediatric rehabilitation
  • special education
  • UPPER EXTREMITY FUNCTION
  • CEREBRAL-PALSY
  • VIRTUAL-REALITY
  • MOTOR FUNCTION
  • REHABILITATION
  • GAME
  • THERAPY
  • FEASIBILITY
  • ENVIRONMENT
  • EXERCISE

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