Using Digital Devices with Hand Arthritis


Scientific Study Title:

Using Digital Devices with Hand Arthritis


Principal Investigator:

Catherine Backman, PhD, Reg. OT (BC), FCAOT. Senior Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada Professor,
Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, The University of British Columbia.
This project is being conducted by Master of Occupational Therapy Students


Study Start Date: 



Study End Date: 



Why do this research?

People with arthritis in their hands may have difficulty using digital devices such as cell phones, iPads, and tablets. This research is intended to identify:

  1. Primary uses of digital devices among adults over 55 years,
  2. Specific barriers to use associated with hand arthritis, and
  3. Current solutions to overcoming these barriers.


What will be done?

Occupational therapy students will interview eligible participants: adults who have any type of arthritis affecting their hands. Discussion topics will include primary uses of cell phones or tablets, barriers to using them, and current strategies employed to make it easier to these devices. Following the interview and with the consent of the participants, interviewers will take photos or videos of participants using their device(s). By identifying and understanding the kinds of problems older adults have using cell phones and tablets, the intended outcome is to develop and share tips on making the use of digital devices easier.


Who is involved? 

Catherine Backman, PhD, Reg. OT (BC), FCAOT. Senior Research Scientist of Rehabilitation, Arthritis Research Canada. Professor, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy – University of British Columbia. Affiliated Researcher, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute
UBC MOT Students: Gemma Tedeschi, John Li, and Sebastian Zackowski.
Patient Collaborator: Pat Carney.


How do people get involved? 

Call or e-mail us! You must be 55 years of age or older and have arthritis affecting your hands.
If you would like to take part in this study or seek more information, please contact:

Gemma Tedeschi
Phone Number: 719-648-8565
Email Address: gemma.tedeschi@alumni.ubc.ca