Building an ontology for assistive technology using the Delphi method

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to use the Delphi method to develop and validate an ontology for one class of assistive technology (AT), namely physically controllable pointing devices. A three-round, structured process consisting of responses to a series of questionnaires was used to identify items and categories of importance to pointing device prescription from six occupational therapists with AT expertise. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to assess the interrater reliability of items included in categories related to the pointing devices and to the user profile by the six experts during each Delphi round. During the first round, the ICC ranged from 0.19 to 0.97; this improved to ICCs ranging from 0.72 to 1.0 during the second round. A full consensus was reached by the experts during the final round which included 218 items, divided into five categories, for the pointing device list, and 168 items, divided into six categories, for the user profile list. This ontology is expected to help achieve a more systematic regulation of the AT field, leading to greater standardization and increased knowledge sharing, which may help novice clinicians to achieve a level of competence in matching AT to a person with special needs. Implications for Rehabilitation Creation of systematic ontology (classification of definitions and concepts) of assistive technology (AT) domain will facilitate systematic regulation of the field, leading to greater standardization and increased knowledge sharing. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health as well as standard AT models (matching person and technology, human-activity-assistive technology) and frameworks (Batavia-Hammer were used to generate the initial client and AT device items. The Delphi method was to develop and validate the ontology for one AT class, physically controllable pointing devices based on three rounds of responses from six experienced senior occupational therapists Consensus was reached by using the criteria of a mean rating of ≥4.0 as rated by ≥80% of the experts. The intraclass correlation coefficient was used to assess the interrater reliability of items during each Delphi round until perfect agreement in the third round. The use of Protégé, a well-known tool for the creation, visualization, and manipulation of ontologies will enable easy knowledge sharing and possibly initiating a community effort for extending the initial ontology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-286
Number of pages12
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Assistive technology
  • Delphi method
  • Ontologies
  • People with special needs
  • Pointing devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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