Usage of Tilt-in-Space, Recline, and Elevation Seating Functions in Natural Environment of Wheelchair UsersBy Ding, Dan; Leister, Elizabeth; Cooper, Rory A.; Cooper, Rosemarie; Kelleher, Annmarie; Fitzgerald, Shirley G.; Boninger, Michael L.; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 45, No. 7, pp. 973-984
Publication Date: 2008
Study examined the usage of powered seating functions, including tilt-in-space, backrest recline, and seat elevation, among a group of wheelchair users during daily activities. Participants were 6 men and 5 women who used a power wheelchair with seating functions. Four disability types were represented: cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. Participants drove their own wheelchair and used the seating functions as needed in their community environment while the seating-function usage was recorded with a portable device developed for the study, the components of which, tilt sensors, force sensing resistors, and a linear position transducer, were fastened to the wheelchairs. Participants were found to occupy their wheelchair for an average of 11.8 hours a day. While in their wheelchairs, they accessed tilt-in-space, backrest recline, and seat elevation an average of 19 times a day for 61.1 percent, 12 times for 76 percent, and 4 times for 22.5 percent of their time, respectively. Participants chose to stay in tilted and reclined positions in their wheelchair for 39.3 percent of their time each day. They spent little time in a fully upright position, and changed their seating positions, on average, every 53.6 minutes. The authors conclude that the study results could enhance clinical practice of wheelchair provision, resulting in better compliance with clinical instructions and appropriate use of seating functions among wheelchair users. Study limitations and implications for further research are discussed.
VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (Web Site: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov )
Link to text: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/08/45/7/absding.html