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User perceptions of powered wheelchair features.
Technology, Mind, and Behavior, Volume: 1, Issue: 2
Swansea University Author: Alecia Cousins
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There has been a substantial increase in recent years in the availability of powered wheelchairs and associated features. However, the psychological factors explaining feature use are poorly understood. The current study aims to explore this issue. Semi-structured interviews of 15 British wheelchair...
|Published in:||Technology, Mind, and Behavior|
American Psychological Association (APA)
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There has been a substantial increase in recent years in the availability of powered wheelchairs and associated features. However, the psychological factors explaining feature use are poorly understood. The current study aims to explore this issue. Semi-structured interviews of 15 British wheelchairs users were conducted; all had a range of disabilities and clinically prescribed seating functions. Our aim was to explore participants’ perceptions in terms of engagement and use of their wheelchair technology. Interview schedules were generated based on prior research on psychological factors associated with health and well-being. Questions focused on participants’ knowledge of features and how to use them, perceived barriers and facilitating factors, motivation to use, and perceptions of social support. A theory led thematic analysis identified three themes: (a) clinical benefits and functional alternatives, (b) expectations versus reality, and (c) the impact of other people. There was diversity in the perceptions that users had of their equipment, with positive views of features linking to users’ experience of functional benefits and matches between equipment and prior expectations. Recommendations are made to highlight functional as well as clinical benefits, to explore therapists’ experiences of their practice, to consider how information could be presented, and to explore uses of social support and innovative technologies in future work.
psychology, wheelchair, clinical, engagement, assistive technology
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
This study was funded by South Wales Posture and Mobility Service