Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 9, 2013
   Pages 1287 — 1300

Abstract — Power mobility with collision avoidance for older adults: User, caregiver, and prescriber perspectives

Rosalie H. Wang, BSc (OT), PhD;1* Alexandra Korotchenko, BHK, MA, PhD(c);2 Laura Hurd Clarke, MSW, PhD;2 W. Ben Mortenson, BSc (OT), MSc, PhD;3 Alex Mihailidis, PhD, PEng1

1Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute–University Health Network and University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 2School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 3Gerontology Research Centre, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Abstract — Collision avoidance technology has the capacity to facilitate safer mobility among older power mobility users with physical, sensory, and cognitive impairments, thus enabling independence for more users. Little is known about consumers’ perceptions of collision avoidance. This article draws on interviews (29 users, 5 caregivers, and 10 prescribers) to examine views on design and utilization of this technology. Data analysis identified three themes: "useful situations or contexts," "technology design issues and real-life application," and "appropriateness of collision avoidance technology for a variety of users." Findings support ongoing development of collision avoidance for older adult users. The majority of participants supported the technology and felt that it might benefit current users and users with visual impairments, but might be unsuitable for people with significant cognitive impairments. Some participants voiced concerns regarding the risk for injury with power mobility use and some identified situations where collision avoidance might be beneficial (driving backward, avoiding dynamic obstacles, negotiating outdoor barriers, and learning power mobility use). Design issues include the need for context awareness, reliability, and user interface specifications. User desire to maintain driving autonomy supports development of collaboratively controlled systems. This research lays the groundwork for future development by illustrating consumer requirements for this technology.

Key words: caregiver, collision avoidance, intelligent wheelchair, older adult, power mobility, qualitative methods, safety, smart wheelchair, technology design, user experience.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 9
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Wang RH, Korotchenko A, Hurd Clarke L, Mortenson WB, Mihailidis A. Power mobility with collision avoidance for older adults: User, caregiver, and prescriber perspectives. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(9):1287–1300.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2012.10.0181
ResearcherID/ORCID: Rosalie H. Wang, BSc (OT), PhD: D-3743-2011; Laura Hurd Clarke, MSW, PhD: L-7457-2013; Alex Mihailidis, PhD, PEng: D-3759-2011; W. Ben Mortenson, BSc (OT), MSc, PhD: L-7441-2013
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