Comparing satisfaction with occupational performance using a pushrim-activated power-assisted wheelchair and a power wheelchair among task-specific power wheelchair users
Giesbrecht, Edward Mark
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The manual wheelchair (MWC) and power wheelchair (PWC) each present advantages and disadvantages to participation and occupational performance. Consequently, some individuals choose to use both devices, depending upon the activity. A pushrim-activated, power-assisted wheelchair (PPW) may provide an alternative to the PWC for these users. This study utilized a two-phase, mixed methods design, comparing the performance and satisfaction of wheelchair users carrying out self-selected activities with their current PWC and with a PPW. There was no statistically significant difference in outcome measures between the PWC and PPW; however, many participants reported a preference for the PWC. Less accessible environments, particularly when transporting a wheelchair, were identified as opportunities for PPW use. Rather than replacing the PWC for all of their identified activities, participants indicated the PPW improved upon the MWC. As a result, participants expressed a willingness to try more (and new) activities, including some previously performed with the PWC.