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Young people's experiences using electric powered indoor - outdoor wheelchairs (EPIOCs): potential for enhancing users' development?

journal contribution
posted on 2007-08-30, 00:00 authored by Subhadra EvansSubhadra Evans, C Neophytou, L de Souza, A O Frank
PURPOSE: To examine the experiences of severely physically disabled young people who use electric powered indoor - outdoor chairs (EPIOCs). METHODS: A priori interview questions examined young people's functioning with EPIOCs, pain and discomfort with EPIOC use and accidents or injuries resulting from EPIOC use. Eighteen young people (13 males and five females) aged 10 - 18 (mean 15) years were interviewed by telephone using a qualitative framework approach. Participants were interviewed 10 - 19 (mean 14.5) months after delivery of the chair. Diagnoses included muscular dystrophy (n = 10), cerebral palsy (n = 5), and 'other' (n = 3). RESULTS: Many children reported positive functioning following EPIOC use, including increased independence and social activities like wheelchair football. However, EPIOC use was also associated with pain and discomfort, as well as perceived lack of safety, and minor accidents. Most young people and their families were fairly satisfied with the service and provision of their wheelchairs. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that the development of disabled young people may benefit from the use of electric powered indoor/outdoor wheelchairs, although the advantages may come at certain costs to young people's perceived and real safety. Recommendations to powered wheelchair providers include the demonstrated need for additional driving training as these young people mature.



Disability and rehabilitation






1281 - 1294


Taylor & Francis


Abingdon, Eng.





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, Informa UK