Wheelchair Users’ Satisfaction with the Prescribed Wheelchairs and Wheelchair Services in Croatia

Sinisa Stefanac, Igor Grabovac, Sofi Fristedt

Abstract


The authors tried to determine the wheelchair users’ satisfaction with prescribed wheelchairs and wheelchair services in Croatia. An online survey was distributed among members of the Croatian Paraplegic and Tetraplegic Alliance. One hundred-four participants were included in the analyses using non-parametric statistics. Most participants were satisfied with wheelchair dimensions (n=84;81%), functionality (n=80;77%), easiness to use (n=81;78%), comfort (n=69;66%) and wheelchair parts adjustment (n=64;62%). Individuals satisfied with wheelchair characteristics were also more engaged in the activities of everyday living than participants who were not satisfied. Significant activity participation was found in the following activities: bathing/showering (χ2=7.02;df=1;p=0.017), transfers (χ2=8.49;df=1;p=0.01), bladder/bowel management (χ2=17.77;df=1;p<0.001), food preparation (χ2=8.34;df=1;p=0.004), eating (χ2=9.33;df=1;p=0.014) and doing household chores (χ2=13.28;df=1;p<0.001). Fifty-seven participants (54.8%) had received wheelchair assessment and were also predominantly satisfied with the assessment (n=51;90%), selection process (n=49;79%), equipment trial (n=24;80%), education/skills training (n=40;89%) and the fitting process (n=38;86%). Participants who received wheelchair assessment and skills training felt safer when using wheelchairs (χ2=6.13;df=1;p=0.013). Majority of the participants were unsure where to ask for second opinions regarding wheelchair assessment (n=80;77%) and where to seek wheelchair support groups (n=78;75%). Satisfaction with wheelchairs and wheelchair services leads to more involvement in the activities of everyday living and increases feelings of safety.


Keywords*


activities of everyday living; occupational therapy; wheelchair prescription; wheelchair satisfaction; wheelchair services

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