Literature review on assistive devices available for quadriplegic people: Indian context.

Peer-reviewed article
(2021 Jun) Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol 1-13


Jafar MR, Nagesh DS



This literature review aims to find the current state of the art in self-help devices (SHD) available for people with quadriplegia.


We searched original articles, technical and case studies, conference articles, and literature reviews published between 2014 to 2019 with the keywords ("Self-help devices" OR "Assistive Devices" OR "Assistive Product" OR "Assistive Technology") AND "Quadriplegia" in Science Direct, Pubmed, IEEE Xplore digital library and Web of Science.


Total 222 articles were found. After removing duplicates and screening these articles based on their title and abstracts 80 articles remained. After this, we reviewed the full text, and articles unrelated to SHD development or about the patients who require mechanical ventilation or where the upper limb is functional (C2 or above and T2 or below injuries) were discarded. After the exclusion of articles using the above-mentioned criterion 75 articles were used for further review.


The abandonment rate of SHD currently available in the literature is very high. The major requirement of the people was independence and improved quality of life. The situation in India is very bad as compared to the developed countries. The people with spinal cord injury in India are uneducated and very poor, with an average income of 3000 ₹ (41$). They require SHDs and training specially designed for them, keeping their needs in mind.Implications for rehabilitationPeople with quadriplegia are totally dependent on caregivers. Assistive devices not only help these people to do day-to-day tasks but also provides them self-confidence.Even though there are a lot of self-help devices currently available, still they are not able to fulfil the requirements of people with quadriplegia, hence there is a very high abandonment rate of such devices.This study provides an evidence that developing devices after understanding the functional and non-functional requirements of these subjects will decrease the abandonment rate and increase the effectiveness of the device.The results of this study can be used for planning and developing assistive devices which are more focussed on fulfilling the requirements of people with quadriplegia.