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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2016;53(5):531-540. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2015.05.0084.

Scoping review of mobility scooter-related research studies.

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Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, Vancouver, Canada; and Rehabilitation Research Program, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, Canada.
GF Strong Rehabilitation Research Program, Vancouver, Canada.


Mobility scooters are three- or four-wheeled power mobility devices regularly used by people who have difficulty ambulating. They also differ from power wheelchairs in terms of their driving controls, programmability, seating, and mounting method. Given their growing popularity and anecdotal concerns around their use, a scoping review was undertaken to identify empirical research about mobility scooters and to analyze their study design and purpose. Data sources included MedLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, and PsychINFO. Thirty-two studies met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were descriptive in nature and reported information about scooter users' demographics, scooter-related activities, and accidents. The most common study design was a pre- and postintervention followed by a cross-sectional survey and retrospective review. Despite the increasing use of mobility scooters, surprisingly little scooter-related research has been conducted. Given the nature of most of the research in this area, further empirical evidence is needed to develop a better understanding about the frequency and causes of scooter accidents and the efficacy of interventions to improve users' skills, mobility, and safety.


accidents; incidents; mobility; participation; powered mobility; safety; scooters; scoping review; survey; training

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