Trajectory of assistive device usage and user and non-user characteristics: Long-handled bath sponge




To examine use of an assistive device, a long-handled bath sponge (LHBS) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis to describe use from the time of in-hospital prescription to the 2- and 12-month followups, and to describe the characteristics of those who became device users and non-users.


Patients (n = 102) who were prescribed a LHBS during hospitalization were followed prospectively. The clinical and psychosocial assessment included disease, physical and psychosocial factors, and disability.


The overall usage rate for the LHBS was 86%. When compared with users, non-users had fewer arthritic joints, perceived greater control over their disability and pain, and had less favorable perceptions of the LHBS. Characteristics that did not differentiate non-users from users were sociodemographic variables, disease duration, movement capability, level of disability and pain, and general perceptions of assistive devices.


The results support the early identification of patients who are likely to become non-users so that acceptable alternative interventions can be planned.