The Quest for the Perfect Lightweight Wheelchair: Ultralight Rigid Frame Wheelchair Specification Strategies for SuccessBy Mitchell, Steve; Rehab Management,
Publication Date: March 2011
Article discusses aspects of the selection process rehabilitation therapists should consider when prescribing an ultralight rigid frame wheelchair for a client. Common mistakes made by prescribers in the selection process can be attributed to a belief that anthropomorphic measurements can be translated into product specifications, failure to consider clinical findings in an appropriate context, an excessive reliance on others for product information, and failure to involve the end user throughout the decision-making process. Advice given for the selection process includes (1) never using clinical mat evaluations, although necessary to assess posture, sitting balance, joint range of motion, and flexibility, to determine rigid frame dimensions; (2) employing a usability framework that considers the interaction between a user and product to accomplish a task in a given environment; (3) using loaner or manufacturers’ demo wheelchairs during equipment trials and determining what aspects of the trial wheelchair would need to be changed to arrive at the optimal configuration, taking into account posture, positioning, and pressure management objectives; (4) acquiring a hands-on familiarity with the features of optional wheelchair models for consideration; and (5) using the wheelchair order form as structure, as many selections on the order form affect other selections. In addition, an end user forum, CareCure Community (http://sci.rutgers.edu) is recommended for feedback from users of ultralight rigid frame wheelchairs.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.rehabpub.com/issues/articles/2011-03_02.asp