Alertness, movement, and affective behaviour of people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) on introduction of a playful interactive product: Can we get your attention?

R. van Delden*, S. Wintels, W. M. W. J. van Oorsouw, V. Evers, P. J. C. M. Embregts, D. Heylen, D. Reidsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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New technology may stimulate active leisure activities for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD). We conducted a study of an interactive ball that responded to gross body movement, focus of attention, and vocalisations of users with PIMD. The aim was to increase alertness and body movement and elicit more expressions of positive, or fewer of negative affect.

Nine participants with PIMD played during 8–10 sessions. The movement was analysed automatically. Alertness and affective behaviour were coded manually. We analysed the last 5 sessions for each participant and compared 15 min of interaction with 15 min of rest.

Clearly positive effects were seen for three participants. Effects were seen in the unexpected direction for four participants. No strong effects were found for the remaining three participants.

Interactive technologies may provide suitable activities for people with PIMD but individual differences play an important role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-77
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020



  • Leisure activities
  • affect
  • alertness
  • interactive play
  • movement
  • profound intellectual and multiple disabilities

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