Power Wheelchairs

Power wheelchairs are frequently prescribed to provide or enhance independent mobility, thereby facilitating increased participation in daily life. Mobility and independence have been linked to improved overall quality of life, especially for people with spinal cord injury (Sonenblum et al. 2008). Compared to manual wheelchairs, there is significantly less research that explores power wheelchair use for people with spinal cord injury despite the important role power wheelchairs play in a person’s daily life and health. This research in this area has been organized into the subsections of: characteristics of power wheelchair use, power wheelchair driving controls, and power positioning device use. This latter section focuses on how this technology is used in daily life; research related to the benefits of using power positioning is presented in section 6.0, Positioning Changes for Managing Sitting Pressure/Postural Issues, Fatigue and Discomfort.