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Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2016;11(5):385-94. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2014.968811. Epub 2014 Oct 1.

Living with an electric wheelchair--the user perspective.

Author information

1
a Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Community Medicine Rehabilitation , Umeå University , Umeå , Sweden .
2
b Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University , Umeå , Sweden .
3
c Division of Rehabilitation Medicine , and.
4
d Division of Occupational therapy, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation , Umeå University , Umeå , Sweden.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To explore the experiences of using an electric wheelchair in daily living.

METHODS:

Fifteen participants, eight women and seven men, living in different parts of a Nordic country were interviewed. The interviews were conducted in the home or at the workplace. Open-ended questions were used. The data were collected and analyzed according to the grounded theory.

RESULTS:

Analysis resulted in one core category: "Integrating the electric wheelchair - a manifold process", describing a process commencing from initial resistance against use of an electric wheelchair, to acceptance with various extent of integration. Six categories emerged that represent this core process: incorporating the electric wheelchair into the self-identity process, calculating functional consequences, encountering the reactions of others, facing duality in movability, using proactive strategies, and being at the mercy of the system. Findings indicate that the integration process is complex and manifold. Practical, personal, and social dimensions were intertwined and significantly involved.

CONCLUSIONS:

Integrating an electric wheelchair is a process closely connected to symbolic value, usability, community mobility and identity. These aspects should be considered in the production, prescription, and adaptation processes. Implications for Rehabilitation Integrating an electric wheelchair is a process closely connected to symbolic value, usability, community mobility, and identity. These aspects should be considered in the wheelchair production, prescription, and adaptation processes.

KEYWORDS:

Community mobility; daily life; embodiment; participation; qualitative research; social identity; wheelchair

PMID:
25270614
DOI:
10.3109/17483107.2014.968811
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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