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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jun;91(6):463-9. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31825ab5ec.

Increases in wheelchair breakdowns, repairs, and adverse consequences for people with traumatic spinal cord injury.

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1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aims of this study were to report the current incidence of wheelchair breakdowns, repairs, and consequences and to compare current data with historical data.

DESIGN:

A convenience sample survey of 723 participants with spinal cord injury who use a wheelchair for more than 40 hrs/wk treated at a Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems center was conducted.

RESULTS:

Significant increases were found in the number of participants reporting repairs (7.8%) and adverse consequences (23.5%) in a 6-mo period (2006-2011) compared with historical data (2004-2006) (P < 0.001). When examining current data, minorities experienced a greater frequency and higher number of reported consequences (P = 0.03). Power wheelchair users reported a higher number of repairs and consequences than did manual wheelchair users (P < 0.001). Wheelchairs equipped with seat functions were associated with a greater frequency of adverse consequences (P = 0.01). Repairs did not vary across funding source, but individuals with wheelchairs provided by Medicare and Medicaid reported a higher frequency of consequences than did the combined group of the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Worker's Compensation, and the Veterans Administration (P = 0.034 and P = 0.013, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

The incidence and consequences of repairs are increasing from what was already a very high statistic in this United States population. Further investigation into causality is required, and intervention is needed to reverse this potential trend.

PMID:
22549473
PMCID:
PMC4886332
DOI:
10.1097/PHM.0b013e31825ab5ec
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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