Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 52 Number 1, 2015
   Pages 41 — 52

Abstract — Applying ISO 16840–2 Standard to differentiate impact force dissipation characteristics of selection of commercial wheelchair cushions

Martin Ferguson-Pell, PhD;1* Grace Ferguson-Pell, BA, BSc, RN;2 Farhood Mohammadi, BSc, MSc;3Evan Call, MS4

1Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; 2College of Nursing (student), New York University, New York, NY; 3Faculty of Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; 4Department of Microbiology, Weber State University, Ogden, UT

Abstract — Results from applying the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 16840–2 test method for determining the impact damping characteristics of 35 wheelchair cushions plus a high resilience (HR70) polyurethane reference foam sample are reported. The generation of impact forces when a wheelchair user either transfers onto a cushion or the wheelchair encounters rough terrain or bumps down a step can endanger the viability of tissues, especially if these forces occur repeatedly. The results demonstrate significant differences in the impact force dissipation characteristics of different cushion products but do not reliably identify differences in performance that can be attributed to descriptive information about cushion composition alone. Instead, these results demonstrate that the materials, proprietary design, and construction features of wheelchair cushions in combination dictate impact force dissipation properties. The results of a cluster analysis are used to generate a model that can be used to compare the impact damping properties obtained from the ISO 16840–2 test method with those of a range of cushions and the reference cushion. Manufacturers will therefore be able to provide users and clinicians with information about the impact force dissipation properties of the cushions that will enable them to make more informed product choices for achieving improved comfort and to protect skin integrity.

Key words: anatomical loading, cluster analysis, deep tissue injury, force dissipation, impact damping, pressure ulcer, seating, test method, wavelet analysis, wheelchair cushion selection.


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This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Ferguson-Pell M, Ferguson-Pell G, Mohammadi F, Call E. Applying ISO 16840-2 Standard to differentiate impact force dissipation characteristics of selection of commercial wheelchair cushions. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(1):41–52.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.04.0115
ResearcherID/ORCID: Martin Ferguson-Pell, PhD: A-2326-2012
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