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Older adults' use of, and satisfaction with, electric powered indoor/outdoor wheelchairs

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journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2007, 00:00 authored by Subhadra EvansSubhadra Evans, A O Frank, C Neophytou, L de Souza
BACKGROUND: Research documenting the experiences of electric powered indoor/outdoor wheelchair (EPIOC) users has generally failed to take into account the specific needs and concerns of older adults. This study sought to qualitatively examine the older EPIOC users' satisfaction with the chair and service providers. METHOD: Eight women and nine men aged between 60 and 81 (mean 69) years were recruited through a specialist wheelchair service database. All had severe mobility disabilities. Analysis was performed using a qualitative framework approach. RESULTS: Participants reported a variety of EPIOC uses, including shopping and some social contact. Moderate satisfaction with the chair was reported. Use was compromised by indoor and outdoor environmental barriers; and the chair not meeting users' needs. Accidents were rare, but many users still experienced insecurity in the chair. High levels of satisfaction with the service were reported, although concern was expressed over length of waiting times. CONCLUSIONS: EPIOCs proved useful to most older people with disabilities. However, even those who were satisfied reported only moderate use of the chair outdoors. Limited use related to an infrequent need for outings, outdoor barriers, feelings of insecurity over chair safety and lengthy waiting times for chair delivery and required modifications. Service providers should be aware that older EPIOC users may require extra support and the provision of timely adjustments to increase chair use.

History

Journal

Age and ageing

Volume

36

Issue

4

Pagination

431 - 435

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Location

Oxford, Eng.

ISSN

0002-0729

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, The Authors