Assistive technology use and veterans: An examination of racial differences between Whites and Blacks using the HAAT model

Shondra Loggins Clay, Reginald Alston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Many disability researchers have advocated for the use of assistive technology to enhance quality of life for persons with disabilities. However, it has been documented that minorities and veterans are two groups that underutilize the resource. OBJECTIVE: To use the Human Activity Assistive Technology (HAAT) model to explore assistive technology (AT) use among veterans, specifically examining race, gender, age, socioeconomic determinants (e.g. marital status, educational attainment, employment status, and income), access to health care, general health, and disability status. METHODS: Data were analyzed from the national 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Descriptive statistics, chi-square analyses, and multivariate analyses were performed. RESULTS: Black veterans used AT more than White veterans, which was consistent with the predictions that indicated that Black veterans were 1.3 times more likely to use AT (OR = 1.30 CI: 1.20-1.42). However, White veterans who used AT had a higher socioeconomic status compared to Black veterans who used AT. More White veterans were married, had higher educational attainment levels, were employed, and had higher income levels. White veterans also had better health coverage, fewer issues with medical costs and better general health. Whereas all of the predictors of AT use were significant for White veterans, only age (p < 0.001), employment status (p < 0.001), income (p = 0.006), medical costs (p = 0.049), general health (p < 0.001), and limiting disability status (p < 0.001) were significant predictors of AT use for Black veterans. CONCLUSIONS: There are differences in AT use between White and Black veterans based on socioeconomic determinants, access to health care, general health, and disability status. Different predictors and differences in magnitude were observed. Racial differences can partially be explained by components of the HAAT model such as the type of activity that the human is engaging in (e.g. employment) and the context (e.g. the environment).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-171
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Assistive technology
  • disability disparities
  • race
  • socioeconomic status (SES)
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy

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