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J Med Eng Technol. 1996 Jul-Oct;20(4-5):151-6.

Multi-adjustable chairs for children with disabilities.

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  • 1Disability Equipment Assessment Centre, Southampton General Hospital, UK.


There is a growing demand that severely disabled children should be offered a normal-looking, comfortable alternative to highly supportive wheelchair seating to facilitate relaxation and social integration. An evaluation of five chairs, funded by Medical Devices Agency, an executive agency of the Department of Health, was undertaken with potential and actual users of these chairs to investigate the chairs' function with respect to the child's posture, and what features were effective. Twenty-nine children tried five chairs for up to 30 min in each; and a postal survey received 100 responses. The chairs seem to meet many users' postural needs (78% of postal survey; 31-72% of short-term evaluation depending on chair); the chairs' adjustability and availability of special features are important in meeting the needs of this user group; evidence of poor design and its implications are discussed.

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