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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


WOLF, Nadine; MASEKO, Lebogang; FRANZSEN, Denise  and  DE WITT, Patricia Ann. Wheelchair prescription after spinal cord injury: satisfaction and functional mobility. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2022, vol.52, n.1, pp.68-77. ISSN 2310-3833.

INTRODUCTION: Globally, rehabilitation services aim to address activity limitations and participation restrictions for those with mobility issues. Therefore, the prescription of wheelchairs is integral to the work of rehabilitation professionals, particularly occupational therapists. The dearth of research in South Africa necessitated this study into wheelchair prescription, satisfaction with and the functional mobility in the prescribed wheelchairs for individuals with spinal cord injuryMETHOD: A cross sectional, descriptive, non-experimental research design was used to collect data from 40 participants using a demographic questionnaire, the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology (QUEST) 2.0 and Wheelchair Users Functional Assessment (WUFA). The data were analysed descriptively to determine the satisfaction with and the functional mobility in the wheelchair as well as the association between these variables. The influence of involvement in the prescription of the wheelchair, the type of wheelchair prescribed on satisfaction and the functional mobility in the wheelchair were also consideredRESULTS: Of the 40 participants, 34 (85%) were prescribed rigid-frame wheelchairs and only six participants (15%) received folding frame wheelchairs. Over 87.98% of the participants had a high level of satisfaction with their prescribed wheelchair and 84.82% reported being functionally mobile in their wheelchairs. High involvement in the prescription of the wheelchair resulted in higher scores for both satisfaction and functional mobilityCONCLUSION: This study concluded that a rigid-frame wheelchair facilitated functional mobility in individuals with SCI in the South African context. The greater the involvement of participants in the wheelchair prescription process, the higher their satisfaction with their wheelchair and functional mobility, indicating the importance of client-centeredness in wheelchair prescription in occupational therapy

Keywords : wheelchair mobility; rigid-frame wheelchair; client-centeredness; involvement in prescription; wheelchair fit; private rehabilitation healthcare.

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