Free Content Adaptation planning guideline and constrained outline for shower chairs and other four-caster vehicles

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Introduction: No research-based guidelines for adaptation planning for shower chairs and other vehicles with four casters exist, despite the manual handling nature of the manoeuvring task and the occupational therapy responsibility to plan for such vehicles.

Method: It was determined from theory that changes in direction for these vehicles, such as from a passageway through a door, could be represented by 13 manoeuvres. Participants (n = 17) carried out 11 (maximum) manoeuvres based on this theory, each with the maximum comfortable occupant weight of their choice (weights represented the occupant).

Findings: The maximum occupant weight selected as comfortable varied substantially between some of the 11 manoeuvres: there was a 100% difference between the lowest and highest weight selections. This indicated that four-caster vehicles (such as shower chairs) should not be treated as omni-directional for high occupant weights, or for floor materials with high motion resistance, because the manoeuvre direction substantially affects maximum comfortable weight selection.

Conclusion: The manoeuvre with the highest weight selection is proposed as a guideline when manual handling concerns exist for these vehicles. The guideline can be modified for individual vehicles sizes, occupant and carer anatomy.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2013

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

    Submissions can be made at

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

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