Volume 52 Number 1, 2015
Pages 41 — 52
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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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, May 5, 2015 10:50 AM