Journal:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):14, 95, 4, 597-603
Study compared the frequency of power wheelchair (PWC) repairs and consequences experienced over a 6-month period by individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) who use a PWC at least 40 hours per week. Data were collected from 945 participants who were treated at a SCI Model System center and used a PWC 40 or more hours each week. The number of required wheelchair repairs and resulting adverse consequences (i.e., being stranded, missing work or school, or missing a medical appointment) were analyzed. The wheelchairs were compared overall and based on manufacturer, seating functions, Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System group, and model, and over time. Results indicated that the rates of required repairs (47.6 to 63.3 percent) and consequences (26.7 to 40.7 percent) were high for all manufacturers. Differences between manufacturers were found among PWCs without seating functions and among group 2 wheelchairs. Across the 10 most prescribed wheelchairs in this study, 54.5 to 73.9 percent of users required 1 or more repairs over a 6-month period. Increases in the number of repairs were also found for several PWC manufacturers with time. Differences were found in participant age, working status, years since injury, and presence of seating functions between manufacturers. The differences found in the number of repairs reported by survey respondents based on PWC manufacturer and the increases in repairs over time require further evaluation.