Measuring Access to Information and Technology: Environmental Factors Affecting Persons With Neurologic Disorders

Elizabeth A. Hahn*, Sofia F. Garcia, Jin Shei Lai, Ana Miskovic, Sara Jerousek, Patrick Semik, Alex Wong, Allen W. Heinemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective To develop and validate a patient-reported measure of access to information and technology (AIT) for persons with spinal cord injury, stroke, or traumatic brain injury. Design A mixed-methods approach was used to develop items, refine them through cognitive interviews, and evaluate their psychometric properties. Item responses were evaluated with the Rasch rating scale model. Correlational and analysis-of-variance methods were used to evaluate construct validity. Setting Community-dwelling individuals participated in telephone interviews or traveled to the academic medical centers where this research took place. Participants Individuals with a diagnosis of spinal cord injury, stroke, or traumatic brain injury (aged ≥18y, English speaking) participated in cognitive interviews (n=12 persons), field testing of the items (n=305 persons), and validation testing of the final set of items (n=604 persons). Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures A set of items to measure AIT for people with disabilities. Results A user-friendly multimedia touchscreen was used for self-administration of the items. A 23-item AIT measure demonstrated good evidence of internal consistency reliability, and content and construct validity. Conclusions This new AIT measure will enable researchers and clinicians to determine to what extent environmental factors influence health outcomes and social participation in people with disabilities. The AIT measure could also provide disability advocates with more specific and detailed information about environmental factors to lobby for elimination of barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1284-1294
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2016


  • Access to information
  • Attitude to computers
  • Patient outcome assessment
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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