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Table 2 Focus Group Guide

From: Users with spinal cord injury experience of robotic Locomotor exoskeletons: a qualitative study of the benefits, limitations, and recommendations

1. Tell me about your experience using a robotic exoskeleton, devices that help people with spinal cord injury walk.
a. Why did you/do you choose to use a robotic exoskeleton?
b. Who did you talk to?
c. What kind of support did you have?
d. What went into your decision-making experience?
2. Show video clips of several robotic exoskeletons. Add information regarding donning and doffing, weight of exoskeleton, batteries, of each of the types of exoskeletons. (Still shot of each device in the community). (Check You Tube videos)
3. Tell us your experiences with peer mentors or formal peer support regarding the use of exoskeletons.
4. How have your previous experiences with technology influenced your thoughts on exoskeletons?
Therapists can use these devices to help people walk, exercise, train mobility, and other health care benefits after their spinal cord injury.
5. How have you experienced robotic exoskeletons in therapy?
a. What activities did you do with the device?
b. What benefits did you experience?
c. What, if any, risks did you experience?
d. What are the device limitations you experienced?
6. Some people use robotic exoskeletons to help get around their home and neighborhood.
a. How have you experienced robotic exoskeletons in your home?
b. How have you experienced robotic exoskeletons in your neighborhood? Doing what?
7. How have you benefitted from using the robotic exoskeleton?
a. Tell me about the physical benefits
i. What cardiovascular benefits?
ii. What spasticity benefits?
iii. What skin integrity benefits?
iv. What changes in pain occur?
v. What bladder and bowel benefits?
vi. What strength/endurance benefits do you see?
vii. What weight benefits do you see?
b. What about social benefits?
i. What benefits to recreational activities?
ii. What benefits to community participation?
iii. What benefits for family interactions?
iv. What benefits for life satisfaction?
v. What benefits for independence?
c. What about occupational benefits?
i. What benefits for ADL’s?
ii. What benefits for work outside the home?
iii. What benefits for work inside the home?
iv. What benefits for further education and/or occupational goals?
v. What benefits for self-care?
d. What about emotional benefits?
i. What benefits to self-confidence?
ii. What benefits to resilience?
iii. What benefits to anxiety and depression?
iv. What changes to perceived stigma?
v. What changes to grief/loss?
e. What other benefits?
8. What issues have you experienced with these devices? [Probe for safety, economic, functional issues]
a. Tell me about the physical issues.
b. What about social issues?
c. What about occupational issues?
d. What about emotional issues?
e. What other issues?
9. How do you think your family, friends, or the public perceive your use of an exoskeleton?
10. What has been your reasoning for purchasing, or not purchasing, a robotic exoskeleton?
a. [If purchased] May I ask what and how you paid for the exoskeleton?
b. How do you perceive the value you get, or would get, for your purchase?
c. Would it be worth it to buy or lease one for your own use? [Why or why not?]
11. What advice would you offer potential users of robotic exoskeletons?
12. What improvements would you like to see in robotic exoskeletons?
a. What are the limitations of available models?
b. What features would you like to see changed or developed in new devices?
13. What other aspects of exoskeleton use that we have not discussed would you like to mention?