Journal:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):15, 96, 3, Supplement 1, S38-S45
Study surveyed people with spinal cord injury (SCI) to determine their priorities for brain-computer interface (BCI) applications and design features along with the time investment and risk acceptable to obtain a BCI. Forty people with SCI participated, including of 30 individuals identified from the SCI research registry who were surveyed by telephone and 10 participants from a BCI usage study who were surveyed in person before BCI use. Descriptive statistics of functional independence, living situations and support structures, ratings of importance of different task and design features, and acceptable levels of performance, risk, and time investment were calculated from the survey data. Participants were classified as having low function or high function based on their Functional Independence Measure motor scores. Results indicated that BCIs were of interest to 96 percent of the low-function group. Emergency communication was the top priority task. The most important design features were “functions the BCI provides” and “simplicity of BCI setup.” Desired performance was 90 percent accuracy, with standby mode errors no more than once every 4 hours and speeds of more than 20 letters per minute. Dry electrodes were preferred over gel or implanted electrodes. Median acceptable setup time was 10 to 20 minutes, satisfying 65 percent of participants. Creating BCI functions appropriate to the needs of those with SCI will be of ultimate importance for BCI acceptance with this population.