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Research Article  |   May 2006
Responses to the Acquisition and Use of Power Mobility by Individuals Who Have Multiple Sclerosis and Their Families
Author Affiliations
  • Terri M. Boss, MS, OTR/L, is a school-based occupational therapist, LaGrange Area Department of Special Education, 1301 West Cossitt Avenue, LaGrange, Illinois 60525; tboss@ladse.org
  • Marcia Finlayson, PhD, OT(C), OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1919 West Taylor (MC 811), Chicago, Illinois 60612; marciaf@uic.edu
Article Information
Multiple Sclerosis / Neurologic Conditions / Applications for Assistive Technology
Research Article   |   May 2006
Responses to the Acquisition and Use of Power Mobility by Individuals Who Have Multiple Sclerosis and Their Families
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2006, Vol. 60, 348-358. doi:10.5014/ajot.60.3.348
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2006, Vol. 60, 348-358. doi:10.5014/ajot.60.3.348
Abstract

PURPOSE. To develop an understanding of family members’ reactions to the acquisition of power mobility by persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) from the perspectives of the end users and their family members.

METHODS. Data were obtained through semistructured interviews with seven persons with MS using or considering power mobility and four of their family members.

RESULTS. Three major themes emerged from the data. Recognizing the Need for Power Mobility resulted from the interaction between multiple sclerosis progression and the participants’ desired performance. Family decision making and communication, insurance funding and approval, and the physical and social environment were just some of the factors affecting the process of Deciding and Obtaining the Power Mobility. Using Power Mobility resulted in positive, negative, and neutral outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS. This study uncovered an overall lack of resources and some issues within the family environment, such as communication and decision making, both of which can negatively impact the acquisition and use of power mobility for persons with MS. Understanding these challenges may assist occupational therapists to facilitate this transition with their clients.