Patients' and Health Care Providers' Knowledge of Wheelchair Transportation IssuesBy Brinkey, Lori; Savoie, Christopher; Hurvitz, Edward A.; Flannagan, Carol; Assistive Technology, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 35-46
Publication Date: Spring 2009
Study assessed the level of knowledge about wheelchair transportation safety practices among wheelchair users (WCUs) and caregivers, therapists, physicians, and other professionals (CTPs). Two 10-question surveys were designed, with one key item assessing knowledge of two safety standards: (1) the SAEJ2249, a Recommended Practice adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) regarding the crash-tested viability of wheelchair tiedowns and occupant restraint systems; and (2) the ANSI-RESNA WC/19 standard regarding wheelchairs serving as motor vehicle seats. One survey was administered to 107 WCUs with an average age of 31 years, and the other was given to 87 CTPs. Results showed that 67 percent of WCUs and about 50 percent of CTPs had not received education about best transportation practices. Less than 20 percent in either group were familiar with the terms “transit option,” or “transit wheelchair,” and less than 7 percent were aware of the SAE J2249 and ANSI-RESNA WC/19 standards. Sixty-seven percent of WCUs and 46 percent of CTPs felt lack of knowledge restricted their use of best transportation practices, followed by cost and vehicle space. Education about best practices was related to increased knowledge as well as increased use of occupant and wheelchair restraints. The study concludes that there is a poor level of knowledge about wheelchair transportation practices among WCUs, caregivers, and professionals who prescribe wheelchairs, leading to a lack of standardized transport and a potential compromise of safety.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)