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Usage of tilt-in-space, recline, and elevation seating functions in natural environment of wheelchair users

Dan Ding, PhD, et al.

Figure. (a) Seating function data logger (SFDL) and (b) sensor placement. FSR = force-sensing resistor.

Clinicians usually prescribe wheelchair users powered seat functions, such as tilt-in-space, backrest recline, and seat elevation, to help posture change for seat pressure management, comfort, and/or to assist activities of daily living (ADL). This study described the usage and effectiveness of powered seating functions among a group of wheelchair users during their typical ADL. Twelve individuals who use a power wheelchair with seating functions participated in the study. They drove their own wheelchair and used the seating function as needed in their community environment for about 2 weeks while seating function usage was recorded with a portable device. We found that subjects occupied their wheelchair for about 11.8 each day. They consistently accessed the seating functions throughout the day and spent most of their time in tilted and/or reclined positions. Time spent in positions of different seating pressures varied among subjects. Most did not reposition themselves as frequently as recommended in the clinical practice guideline. Clinicians and wheelchair users need to know the real-world usage patterns and the effectiveness of these seating functions. This information will help clinical practice of wheelchair provision, resulting in better compliance with clinical instructions and appropriate use of seating functions among wheelchair users.

Volume 45 Number 7, 2008
   Pages 973 — 984

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