A picture of a physical therapist helping a patient to use a stretch band

Physical Therapy Accessibility for People with Disabilities and/or Chronic Conditions

Many individuals with disabilities and/or chronic conditions experience symptoms that may require intermittent or on-going medical care. However, healthcare is often overlooked as an area where accessibility needs to be addressed to improve physical and digital interactions between patients and healthcare providers. We discuss the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions in accessing physical therapy and how technology can help improve access. We interviewed 15 people and found both social (e.g. financial constraints, lack of accessible transportation) and physiological (e.g. chronic pain) barriers to accessing physical therapy. Our study suggests that technology interventions that are adaptable, support movement tracking, and community building may support access to physical therapy.  Rethinking access to physical therapy for people with disabilities or chronic conditions from a lens that includes social and physiological barriers presents opportunities to integrate accessibility and adaptability into physical therapy technology.

“I’m Just Overwhelmed”: Investigating Physical Therapy Accessibility and Technology Interventions for People with Disabilities and/or Chronic Conditions. Momona Yamagami, Kelly Mack, Jennifer Mankoff, and Katherine M. Steele. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing 15, no. 4 (2022): 1-22.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 + 3 =