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Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2009 Fall;15(2):16-32.

Decisions and Dilemmas in Everyday Life: Daily Use of Wheelchairs by Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury and the Impact on Pressure Ulcer Risk.

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1
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.

Abstract

Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) use wheelchairs for mobility and for full participation in their daily activities. The use of wheelchairs, however, can increase the risk of pressure ulcers. This study focused on wheelchair users' perceptions of the interplay between their wheeled mobility and the development of pressure ulcers by performing a secondary analysis of data gathered during a 2-year ethnographic study of 20 community-dwelling adults with SCI. Data from a subset of these individuals are described; each of these stories contains a pressure ulcer risk episode related to wheeled mobility or cushion use. Identified risk episodes were associated with wheelchair selection, wheelchair adjustment, habituation to new equipment, lifestyle choices, and challenging life contexts. Examples highlighted the crucial relationship between individuals' minute-to-minute decision-making and pressure ulcer risk.

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