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The power of power wheelchairs: Mobility choices of community-dwelling, older adults



The power of power wheelchairs: Mobility choices of community-dwelling, older adults



Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy 22(5): 394-401



Power wheelchairs are purported to have a positive effect on health, occupation, and quality of life. However, there is limited knowledge about what factors shape power wheelchair use decisions. A study was undertaken to understand the mobility choices of community-dwelling, power wheelchair users. A series of semi-structured qualitative interviews was conducted with 13 older adult power wheelchair users. Participants were interviewed at enrollment and four months later. Data analysis was informed by Bourdieu's theoretical constructs of habitus, capital, and field. Three main styles of power wheelchair use were identified: reluctant use, strategic use, and essential use, and each type is illustrated using an aggregate case study. These findings highlight the need to alter the power relationship that exists between prescribers and device users and to effect policy changes that enable people with physical impairments to make as wide a range of mobility choices as possible.

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Accession: 059094154

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26027749

DOI: 10.3109/11038128.2015.1049289


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