Attitudes toward the use of low-tech AAC in acute settings: A systematized review

Shaeron Murray, Suzanne C. Hopf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The purpose of this systematized review was to investigate how attitudes toward low-tech AAC might be impacting its use in acute care settings. A comprehensive and systematic search of databases identified 23 articles for inclusion. Thematic analysis using the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework facilitated a narrative synthesis of findings. Results suggest that in acute care settings (a) adult patients, families, nursing staff, medical team, and allied health professionals all have opportunities to use but do not regularly engage with AAC; (b) individuals reject low-tech AAC devices for a variety of reasons, including that they are not useful, necessary, suitable, or appropriate in settings such as intensive care units; (c) negative attitudes toward AAC are linked to a lack of initial training and ongoing support, perceived impersonal content, limited functionality, and a lack of consistent availability; and (d) positive attitudes toward low-tech AAC are more prevalent when training and support are offered, low-tech AAC effectiveness is demonstrated, and organizational, financial, and procedural commitments are provided. Limitations of the research are highlighted and future research opportunities are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-195
Number of pages12
JournalAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Issue number3
Early online date20 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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