Comparative evaluation of electric wheelchair manoeuvrability
Nadine Pellegrini, Sébastien Bouche, Frédéric Barbot, Marjorie Figère, Bruno Guillon
, Frédéric Lofaso
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether manoeuvrability varied between electric wheelchairs.
Design: Randomized, prospective, repeated measures design.
Subjects: Twelve wheelchair users.
Methods: Three different electric powered indoor/outdoor wheelchairs (Invacare® Storm 3, Ottobock® B500, and Meyra® Champ) intended for use by patients with severe impairments were tested over an indoor and an outdoor circuit. Points were assigned when the users touched the circuit boundaries or failed to pass obstacles. The users completed the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology questionnaire (QUEST).
Results: Performance was significantly worse with Ottobock® B500 compared with the other 2 wheelchairs on the indoor test (Wilcoxon, p < 0.05 for both comparisons) and compared with Invacare® Storm on the outdoor test (Wilcoxon, p < 0.05). The mean 6-item QUEST score, effectiveness, and simplicity of use were significantly worse for Ottobock® B500 than for the other 2 wheelchairs (Wilcoxon, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Differences in manoeuvrability exist between commercially available electric wheelchairs belonging to the same category. Driving tests and QUEST provide complementary and concordant information.
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