Using nominal group technique to advance power assisted exercise equipment for people with stroke

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Background: Power assisted exercise is accessible and acceptable for people with stroke. The potential for technological advancement of the equipment to improve the user experience has been identified. Involvement of end users and service providers in the design of health technologies is essential in determining how said technology is perceived and adopted. This project invited people with stroke and service providers to influence design features and determine machine selection in the preliminary stages of a codesign research programme. Aims: To capture the perspectives of people with stroke and professionals working with people with stroke about proposed digitalisation of power assisted exercise equipment and select machines for prototype development. Methods: Nominal group technique was used to capture the perspectives, ideas, preferences and priorities of three stakeholder groups: people with stroke (n = 3, mean age 66 years), rehabilitation professionals (n = 3) and exercise scientists (n = 3). Two questions underpinned the structure of the events; ‘What does an assistive exercise machine need to do to allow the person with stroke to engage in exercise?’ and ‘Which machines would you prioritise for use with People with Stroke?’ Attendees were invited to cast votes to indicate their preferred machines. Findings: Synthesis of the data from the NGT identified four domains; software and interface, exercise programme, machine and accessories, setting and service. Three preferred machines from a range of nine were identified through vote counting. Conclusion: Nominal group technique directed the selection of machines to be included in the development of the proposed technology. The vision shared by users during the structured discussion shaped the subsequent steps in the design and testing of the new technology. Patient and service provider contribution: The opinions and preferences of people with stroke, rehabilitation professionals and exercise scientists were central to key decisions which will shape the digitalisation of power assisted equipment, influence future research and guide implementation of the new technologies.




Young, R., Sage, K., Broom, D., Broomfield, K., Church, G., & Smith, C. (2021). Using nominal group technique to advance power assisted exercise equipment for people with stroke. Research Involvement and Engagement, 7(1).

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