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Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2012 May;7(3):219-25. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2011.624251. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Activities of suppliers and technicians during the provision of complex and standard wheeled mobility devices.

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Rehabilitation Engineering and Applied Research Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



The objective of this time-motion study was to document the type and duration of activities performed by wheelchair suppliers during the provision of wheeled mobility and seating devices.


Researchers observed eight rehabilitation technology suppliers and four rehabilitation technicians over two weeks in two metropolitan areas.


Data were collected on 500 client interactions, resulting in 864 activities that were classified as complex rehabilitation technology (CRT) or standard wheeled mobility equipment (STD). Data indicate that the majority of the activities were relatively short (median = 0.25 hours) but the distribution of activity durations was highly skewed. A difference existed in activity time across device complexity (p = 0.039), with CRT-related activities averaging about 0.1 hours longer in duration than STD activities. When assessing mobility types independently, activity times across device complexity differed for manual and power wheelchair at p = 0.0001 and p = 0.086 levels, respectively. When activities were tabulated into daily episodes for each client, CRT manual wheelchair times were higher than STD (p = 0.003), whereas power wheelchair episode times showed no difference across device complexity (p = 0.245).


The results illustrate that the activities undertaken by suppliers during wheelchair provision vary widely and device complexity and device type impacts the types and duration of these activities. [Box: see text].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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