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Comparison of mobility device delivery within Department of Veterans Affairs for individuals with multiple sclerosis versus spinal cord injury

Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, MPT, et al.

We studied demographic differences between veterans with multiple sclerosis (V-MS) and veterans with spinal cord injury (V-SCI) issued a wheelchair through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and described the differences in mobility prescription. We merged two VHA databases to obtain age, sex, race/ethnicity, and wheelchair distribution information for all V-SCI and V-MS in 2000 and 2001. We found that V-MS were less likely to receive ultralightweight manual wheelchairs and programmable customizable power wheelchairs. Instead, V-MS were most likely to receive scooters. Effective solutions for optimizing the provision of assistive technology devices to V-MS should be investigated further, and future studies should identify standards for issuing mobility devices to individuals with MS who have a complicated and unpredictable clinical course.


Volume 44 Number 5 2007
Pages 693 — 702


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