An overview of existing head supports for people with reduced or altered head mobility: current solutions and future developments

A.M. Geers, Dick van der Pijl, A. Bergsma, H.F.J.M. Koopman

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    The first objective of this research was to create an overview of existing assistive devices for supporting the head of people with decreased or altered head mobility. The second objective was to identify future research opportunities, also by investigating what functionalities are still missing in the current head support solutions.

    A systematic literature review was performed, combined with searches in technology manufacturer databases and websites, to get an overview of existing head support solutions. Expert opinions were gathered, as well as feedback from a number of head support users by means of semi-structured interviews. A database was constructed from the assistive devices that were found. Devices were categorized with respect to type of interface with the user, functionality and amount of adjustability in the system.

    Existing solutions that stabilize the head are mainly static, meaning that the head can only be stabilized in one position. Some systems offer freedom of movement but do not really support the head. Additionally, some systems can be configured such that there is a certain level of adaptability to the user. However, if head support systems are adjustable, most often it are systems which enable the caregiver and/or end user to manually change the head support to another position.

    Based on feedback from experts and users it can be concluded that there is a need for assistive devices that provide independent adjustability in such a way that changes in position of the trunk and head are combined with continuous stabilization. Combining this need with current developments in robotic assistive devices, recommendations are given for future research on head supports.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2018
    EventErgotherapie Jaarcongres: Ergotherapie: zichtbaar en onderscheidend - Bunnik, Netherlands
    Duration: 23 Mar 201823 Mar 2018


    ConferenceErgotherapie Jaarcongres
    Internet address


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