Wheelchair Use by Veterans Newly Prescribed a Manual WheelchairBy Ganesh, Shanti, MD, MPH; Hayter, Anthony, PhD; Kim, Jongphil, MS; Sanford, Jon, MArch; Sprigle, Stephen, PhD; Hoenig, Helen, MD, MPH; Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 88, No. 4, pp. 434-439
Publication Date: April 2007
Study conducted to evaluate the characteristics of wheelchairs, and wheelchair use among veterans who were prescribed a manual wheelchair. A total of 91 veterans who were receiving treatment in a Veterans Affairs teaching hospital participated in the study. The study’s main outcome measures included the following: (1) self-reported difficulty with transfers, (2) wheelchair propulsion, and (3) bathroom mobility method. The participants had a mean age of 66, and a mean of 10 comorbid conditions, including: (1) Parkinson’s disease, (2) osteoporosis, (3) joint replacement, (4) amputation, (5) history of falls, and (6) arthritis. The researchers found that at one month following prescription, more than thirty percent of the participants had wheelchairs that did not meet the common criteria for proper wheelchair fit. In addition, a total of 36 and 61 percent of the participants reported difficulty transferring and propelling the wheelchair, respectively. Despite the provision of manual wheelchairs by trained professionals and the availability of diverse wheelchair types, people using wheelchairs for the first time commonly reported difficulty using the wheelchair. Implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: W.B. Saunders Company, a division of Elsevier Health Sciences (Website:http://us.elsevierhealth.com)
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Web Site: http://www.aapmr.org/ )
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.acrm.org )