ATOM: Introduction

The Assistive Technology Outcome Measure (ATOM) is a self-report instrument containing 18 questions. Questions are designed to capture a range of outcomes from a wheeled mobility intervention. These include: 1) wheelchair usage in different environments; 2) community participation; 3) frequency of use; 4) function; 5) assistance; 6) comfort and 7) hassle. The ATOM is designed to provide useful outcomes data for program administrators, clinicians, consumers, and third-party funding agencies.

Responses for all items are based on a categorical scale. Scores are summed and then divided by the number of valid responses. The maximum possible score is four and the minimum possible score is one.

The ATOM is designed to be administered within busy clinical practices by either a clinician or support staff. It can be completed via telephone, as an in-person interview, or as a mail-in survey. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

The ATOM was originally developed by Dr. Stephen Sprigle for four types of assistive technology interventions, including wheeled mobility devices, augmentative communication aids, environmental control devices, and adaptive computer equipment. A revised version of the ATOM for wheeled mobility interventions (ATOM v.2.) was subsequently developed by Drs. Sprigle, James Lenker, Frances Harris and Ms. Medha Dharne. Content validity, internal consistency, test-retest reliability and convergent validity have been evaluated for the ATOM v2 for wheeled mobility.

The ATOM v2 also contains an additional 22 suggested demographic questions, which take approximately 10 minutes to complete. However, the researcher or clinician should feel free to administer them or not depending on time constraints and/or programmatic needs.


Dharne, M., J. Lenker, F. Harris, S. Sprigle. (2006) Content Validity of Assistive Technology Outcome Measure (ATOM), Version 2.0. Proceedings of RESNA’s 29th International Conference on Technology and Disability, Atlanta, GA.

Dharne, M.G., MS, Lenker, J., Harris, F., and Sprigle, S. (2007) Reliability and Validity of Assistive Technology Outcome Measure (ATOM), Version 2.0 for Adults with Physical Disability using Wheelchairs. Proceedings of RESNA’s 30th International Conference on Technology and Disability, Phoenix, AZ.

Harris, Frances and Sprigle, Stephen (2008). Outcomes measurement of a wheelchair intervention. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology,3:4, p171-180.