Research Article  |   January 2013
Prescribers’ Experiences With Powered Mobility Prescription Among Older Adults
Author Affiliations
  • W. Ben Mortenson, BScOT, MSc, PhD, is Postdoctoral Fellow, Gerontology Research Centre, Harbour Centre 2800, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6B 5K3; bmortens@interchange.ubc.ca
  • Laura Hurd Clarke, BAH, MSW, PhD, is Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • Krista Best, MSc, is Doctoral Candidate, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Article Information
Assistive Technology / Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Productive Aging
Research Article   |   January 2013
Prescribers’ Experiences With Powered Mobility Prescription Among Older Adults
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2013, Vol. 67, 100-107. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.006122
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2013, Vol. 67, 100-107. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.006122
Abstract

Despite the potential benefits of powered mobility, many older adults do not have access to this technology. To date, few studies have explored how prescribers make decisions regarding provision of powered mobility. Therefore, we undertook a qualitative study to develop a better understanding of prescribers’ attitudes toward and practices with older adult candidates for powered mobility devices. Our analysis of 10 in-depth interviews identified three main themes: (1) “Deciding who should be entitled” explored how therapists decided who should have access to powered mobility, (2) “power wheelchair negotiation” described the discord between clients and therapists that became apparent during this process, and (3) “practical considerations” revealed how contextual factors shaped the provision of powered mobility. The findings suggest that the ways in which powered mobility is funded, provided, and accommodated should be improved so that more older adults have access to these devices and can use them to their full potential.