Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2013 Jan;8(1):1-10. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2012.670867. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

Impacts of wheelchair acquisition on children from a person-occupation-environment interactional perspective.

Author information

School of Rehabilitation, University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada.



Mobility aids not only compensate for a locomotor disability, they also increase users' opportunities for social participation. The objective was to explore the impacts of wheelchair (WC) acquisition on children's social participation, personal factors and social environment.


A literature review was done in MEDLINE for the years 1996 to 2011 (June) with an age range from birth to 12 years. The studies selected had to be in French or English and concern the impacts of a WC on children, their social participation or social environment.


The studies retained (n = 9) indicate generally positive impacts. A trend towards improved participation in personal care, mobility, interpersonal relationships and play was observed. Data regarding the effect on the development of cognitive functions are contradictory. For the social environment, a positive change was observed in parents' attitudes and their own social participation after their child tried Assistive Technology.


The results illustrate the complex interaction between person, environment and social participation. Although they are a compensatory aid, WCs do not have a negative impact on motor development. Finally, methodologically speaking, the subject seems to have been explored sufficiently to now be studied in greater depth by means of empirical studies generating evidence-based data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center