“The fact that I can be in front of others, I am used to being a bit behind”: how assistive activity technology affects participation in everyday life
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 2019, 1-9. 10.1080/17483107.2019.1642391
Purpose: This article explores the experiences of mobility-impaired individuals participating in leisure-time physical activities through the use of assistive activity technology (AAT). Its purpose is to highlight how these experiences affect participation in everyday life. This article provides new knowledge about the participation of this population in leisure-time physical activities. Methodology: Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were analysed according to the stepwise-deductive–inductive approach. During the analysis, self-determination theory (SDT) emerged as a theoretical tool for understanding how social context affects motivation as an interacting concept in the participation of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). Findings: Individuals with mobility impairments who use AAT for leisure-time physical activities experience opportunities to participate in ordinary and valued activities that allow them to improve their social positions. Further, use of AAT provided the informants with opportunities to alter their daily routines, enjoy time on their own and enhance their personal awareness. Having opportunities to use AAT independently is experienced as a recognition of their individuality. Thus, this article highlights a new aspect of participation as performing a socially valued activity in solitude. Conclusions: How technology provides opportunities for social interaction influences the informants’ experiences and motivation to use technology. LTPA through the use of AAT promotes mastery and personal dignity, thereby revealing a new aspect of participation as being involved in an independent activity.