Frank AO, De Souza LH. Recipients of Electric Powered Indoor/outdoor Wheelchairs provided by a National Health Service: a cross sectional study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jul. doi:pii: S0003-9993(13)00545-5.
OBJECTIVE:To describe the characteristics, across all ages, of powered wheelchair users and the assistive technology prescribed by a regional specialist wheelchair service
SETTING: Regional wheelchair service provided to those fulfilling strict eligibility criteria by a National Health Service serving a population of 3 million.
PARTICIPANTS:544 Electric Powered Indoor/outdoor wheelchair (EPIOC) users.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Demographic, clinical/diagnostic details of EPIOC recipients including pain, (kypho)scoliosis and ventilators. Technical features including specialised (adaptive) seating (SS), tilt in space (TIS), and modified control systems. Factors were related to age groups: 1 (0-15), 2 (16-24), 3 (25-54), 4 (55-74) and 5 (75+).
RESULTS:262 men mean age 41.7 (range 8-82, sd 20.7) and 282 women mean age 47.2 (range 7-92, sd 19.7) years were studied. Neurological/neuromuscular conditions predominated (81%) with cerebral palsy (CP) (18.9%) and multiple sclerosis (16.4%). Conditions presenting at birth or during childhood constituted 39%. 99 had problematic pain, 83 a (kypho)scoliosis and 11 used ventilators. SS was provided to 169 users (31%), the majority had CP or muscular dystrophy. TIS was used by 258 (53%). Younger people were more likely to receive TIS than older ones. Only 92 had SS and TIS, mean age 29 (range 8-72, sd 17.8) years. 52 used modified control systems.
CONCLUSIONS: The diversity of EPIOC users across age and diagnostic groups is shown. Their complex interrelationships with these technical features of EPIOC prescription are explored. Younger users were more complex due to age-related changes. This study provides outcomes of the EPIOC prescription for this heterogeneous group of very severely disabled people.