Using SMS as a tool to reduce exclusions experienced by caregivers of people with disabilities in a resource-limited Colombian community

Barlott, Timothy, Adams, Kim, Rodriguez, Francene and Mendoza, Monica (2015) Using SMS as a tool to reduce exclusions experienced by caregivers of people with disabilities in a resource-limited Colombian community. Disability and Rehabiliation: Assistive Technology, 10 4: 347-354. doi:10.3109/17483107.2014.974223


Author Barlott, Timothy
Adams, Kim
Rodriguez, Francene
Mendoza, Monica
Title Using SMS as a tool to reduce exclusions experienced by caregivers of people with disabilities in a resource-limited Colombian community
Journal name Disability and Rehabiliation: Assistive Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1748-3107
1748-3115
Publication date 2015-07-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3109/17483107.2014.974223
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 10
Issue 4
Start page 347
End page 354
Total pages 8
Place of publication New York, NY United States
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: The community of El Codito, located in the mountainside on the perimeter of Bogota, Colombia, is considered one of the most vulnerable and resource-limited communities in the region. This community-based research (CBR) project used short message service (SMS) messaging as a tool for information access and social interaction with caregivers of people with disabilities (PWD). Method: Using a focused ethnographic method, this research evaluated the experience of caregivers participating in the project. In addition to primarily qualitative methods, supplementary quantitative message data was also collected. This project utilized free and open source software for SMS message distribution. Results: Caregivers experienced the project as a window to possibility; the possibility of a social support network, the possibility of community participation and the possibility of change. During the three-month implementation, a total of 56 information messages were sent to caregivers, 20 question messages were received from caregivers and 30 social interaction messages were sent by caregivers to the group. Conclusions: The proliferation of mobile phones in this resource-limited setting provided a feasible method for reducing the exclusion of PWD and caregivers. SMS was a useful tool for sharing information and reducing the isolation experienced by this socially excluded population.

Implications for Rehabilitation

Mobile phones are a prevalent technology in many resource-limited settings; short message service (SMS) is a feasible tool for sharing information and reducing isolation experienced by people with disabilities (PWD) and their families.

When developing technology-based projects in resource-limited settings, the field of rehabilitation could apply principles from the field of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D).

Projects in resource-limited settings could consider using a community-based research (CBR) approach. This collaborative approach can enhance the contextual relevance of the project.

Caregivers of PWD found the project to be both useful and meaningful, and as a result of the project became more involved in their community.
Keyword Community-based research
Development
Disability
Information and communication technology for development
mHealth
Mobile phone
Social exclusion
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 26 Nov 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 01 May 2015, 20:56:34 EST by Tim Barlott on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences