A Multidisciplinary Methodology for the Evaluation of Products That Assist With Bed MobilityBy Fazakarley, Louise; Allen, Robert; Assistive Technology, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 69-78
Publication Date: Summer 2010
Study compared different types of mattress elevators in relation to comfort, usefulness, and ease of use of the specific product features. Multidisciplinary risk assessments were undertaken on 10 mattress elevators classified into three groups: (1) products with air bags, (2) products with central actuators, and (3) products with lateral actuators. Nine of the mattress elevators where then tested with 24 participants ranging in age from 22 to 91 years with disabilities including neurological, respiratory, and orthopedic/rheumatology disorders, 7 of whom were male. Participants were asked to test each of 4 randomly allocated products for a week at a time in their own home. The Barthel Activities of Daily Living Index, a sitting balance assessment, and the Waterlow score were used to aid comparison of the products and their performance in practice. All products were found to assist with bed mobility, particularly lying to sitting and giving support in sitting. The three products with central actuators were rated as the least comfortable due to the residual angle preventing users from lying flat. The protruding motor of the devices with lateral actuators obstructed transferring for some participants. Devices with air bags, although considered the most comfortable, were found too noisy by some users. Technical and manual handling risk assessments were undertaken by a panel of experts in a laboratory on the products, and guidelines for using these products were compiled from the results of both the risk assessments and the user evaluations.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)