Electrically powered indoor/outdoor wheelchairs: recipients' views of their effects on occupational performance and quality of life

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Demand for National Health Service (NHS)-funded electrically powered indoor/outdoor wheelchairs (EPIOCs) persistently outstrips supply. The provision criteria require recipients to be able to benefit 'through easier/increased mobility, leading to improved quality of life' (NHS Guidelines 1996, p3). Recipients' views on the latter remain largely unknown, however, generating the impetus for this study.

A convenience sample of 20 patients from one NHS wheelchair service participated. Their perceived occupational performance and satisfaction were rated before and 4-12 weeks after EPIOC provision, using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Six participants also gave post-provision interviews, exploring their perceived quality of life over this period. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to investigate the resulting data.

Statistically significant improvements occurred in participants' occupational performance and satisfaction scores post-EPIOC provision (p<0.001). At interview, four data categories emerged. Two linked changes in participants' functional abilities and psychological health to EPIOC provision. The remaining two, relating to perceived environmental constraints and separation from society by disability, were unaffected by EPIOC provision.

These findings show that EPIOC provision can improve perceived occupational performance and quality of life, in keeping with the above criteria. The implications for occupational therapy practice and research are outlined.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802210X12629548272583

Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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