Record Details

Exploring the impact of wheelchair design on user function in a rural South African setting

African Journal of Disability


 
 
Field Value
 
Title Exploring the impact of wheelchair design on user function in a rural South African setting
 
Creator Visagie, Surona; Centre for Rehabilitation studies, Stellenbosch University Duffield, Svenje; Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University Unger, Mariaan; Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University
 
Subject Rehabilitation; Wheelchair services —
Description Background: Wheelchairs provide mobility that can enhance function and community integration. Function in a wheelchair is influenced by wheelchair design.Objectives: To explore the impact of wheelchair design on user function and the variables that guided wheelchair prescription in the study setting.Method: A mixed-method, descriptive design using convenience sampling was implemented. Quantitative data were collected from 30 wheelchair users using the functioning every day with a Wheelchair Scale and a Wheelchair Specification Checklist. Qualitative data were collected from ten therapists who prescribed wheelchairs to these users, through interviews. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to identify relationships, and content analysis was undertaken to identify emerging themes in qualitative data.Results: Wheelchairs with urban designs were issued to 25 (83%) participants. Wheelchair size, fit, support and functional features created challenges concerning transport, operating the wheelchair, performing personal tasks, and indoor and outdoor mobility. Users using wheelchairs designed for use in semi-rural environments achieved significantly better scores regarding the appropriateness of the prescribed wheelchair than those using wheelchairs designed for urban use (p = <0.01). Therapists prescribed the basic, four-wheel folding frame design most often because of a lack of funding, lack of assessment, lack of skills and user choice.Conclusion: Issuing urban type wheelchairs to users living in rural settings might have a negative effect on users’ functional outcomes. Comprehensive assessments, further training and research, on long term cost and quality of life implications, regarding provision of a suitable wheelchair versus a cheaper less suitable option is recommended.
 
Publisher AOSIS Publishing
 
Contributor
Date 2015-06-26
 
Type — —
Format text/html application/octet-stream text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/ajod.v4i1.171
 
Source African Journal of Disability; Vol 4, No 1 (2015); 8 pages
 
Language en
 
Coverage Eastern Cape — —
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