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Int J Rehabil Res. 2000 Jun;23(2):75-80.

Parents' and therapists' opinion on features that make a chair useful for a young disabled child.

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Disability Equipment Assessment Centre, University Rehabilitation Research Unit, University of Southampton, UK.


Children who fail to develop postural skills within a normal time scale are prescribed special seating to position them appropriately. For children to derive benefit from such seating, they must use it at home as well as in therapy sessions. A study was undertaken to explore the opinions of therapists and parents concerning the effectiveness and acceptability of a sample of special seating available on the UK market for young children. Each of the ten chairs selected to represent the range of possible styles and features was tested by 12 or 16 children in their homes (total sample of 40) for a week each, and four therapy centres for a fortnight each. Results obtained from these two populations were compared to determine whether chair features considered useful differed when used in a therapy centre or family home. Parents' rating for overall usefulness was affected by their perception of the child's comfort, as well as the child's posture, the level of support the chair offered, and other factors. Therapists' response, in contrast, seemed to be mainly influenced by the quality of posture children achieved in the chair.

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