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Design and usability evaluation of COOK, an assistive technology for meal preparation for persons with severe TBI

Abstract

Aim

In Canada, 100,000 people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. The prevalence of moderate to severe TBI is highest for young men, who will live an average of 50 years with this chronic condition associated with physical, emotional and cognitive deficits. Meal preparation, a complex activity with high safety risks, is one of the most significant activities impacted by TBI. Technology shows great promise to support their overall functioning, but no context-aware technology is available to support meal preparation for this population. The main goal of this study was to design and test a technology to support meal preparation with and for persons with severe TBI living in a supported-living residence.

Methodology

As part of a transdisciplinary technology project linking rehabilitation and informatics, COOK (Cognitive Orthosis for coOKing) was designed with and for future users and stakeholders with a user-centred design methodology. COOK was implemented in three participants’ apartments, and its usability was evaluated at 1, 3 and 6 months post-implementation.

Results

COOK is a context-aware assistive technology consisting of two main systems: security and cognitive support system. After implementation of COOK, participants were able to resume safe preparation of meals independently. Usability testing showed good effectiveness and an acceptable level of satisfaction.

Conclusions

COOK appears promising for rehabilitating clients with cognitive disabilities, improving safety in a home environment, and diminishing the need for human supervision. Future studies will need to explore how COOK can be adapted to a broader TBI population, other environments, and other clienteles.

Citation

Pinard, S., Bottari, C., Laliberté, C., Pigot, H., Olivares, M., Couture, M., ... & Bier, N. (2021). Design and usability evaluation of COOK, an assistive technology for meal preparation for persons with severe TBI. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 16(7), 687-701.

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