Establishing user needs for a stability assessment tool to guide wheelchair prescription

Moody, Louise and Evans, Jill and Fielden, Simon and Heelis, Mike and Dryer, Paul and Shapcott, Nigel and Magee, Paul and Stefanov, Dimitar (2015) Establishing user needs for a stability assessment tool to guide wheelchair prescription. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology . ISSN 1748-3107 (Published online first)

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Abstract

Purpose: The WheelSense project aims to develop a system for assessing the stability and performance of wheelchairs through a user-centred design process. This study sought to capture user needs and define the specification for the system. Method: A mixed methods approach was adopted. An online survey was completed by 98 participants working in wheelchair provision. The results were built upon through 10 semi-structured interviews and one focus group (n = 5) with professionals working in wheelchair provision in three NHS Trusts in the UK. Results: The results provided a picture of the current UK practice in stability testing. Issues with the reliability and usefulness of the existing methods used to assess the stability and performance of wheelchairs were highlighted. Requirements for a new system were ascertained. These included improved accuracy of tipping angles, features to support record keeping, improved client/carer education support and ability to model or predict client-wheelchair system performance in different configurations. Conclusions: The paper concludes that there is a need for improved tools to determine the stability of the client-wheelchair system and support the prescription process, to ensure client safety and optimum equipment performance. A list of requirements has been produced to guide the future development of WheelSense.
Implications for Rehabilitation
The results of this survey and interview-based study present a picture of wheelchair stability testing practices in the UK, and highlight the need for new, more informative methods for guiding wheelchair prescription.
The requirements for the design of a new system, or further development of existing tools to support the stability testing and prescription of wheelchairs have been established.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 3 July 2015
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Design Engineering and Mathematics
Item ID: 18065
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Dimitar Stefanov
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 10:05
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:37
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/18065

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