Factors that affect powered wheelchair use for an adult population: A systematic Review

Lucy Fishleigh*, Rachel Taylor, Gabrielle Hale, Daniel S. Bowers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The purpose of the review was to explore current factors affecting the use of a powered wheelchair for an adult person a with a disability.

Materials and Methods
This review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement. Information about the characteristics of the studies (type, setting) and perceived barriers and facilitators to powered wheelchair use were extracted using a data extraction sheet. Data synthesis was achieved using narrative synthesis. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Standard Quality Assessment Criteria for Evaluating Primary Research Papers from a Variety of Fields (SQAC) and the CASP checklist (Critical Appraisal Skills Programme), Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network).

Fifteen studies qualified for inclusion in the review. The narrative synthesis produced a conceptual map of reported factors affecting the usability of a powered wheelchair.

This review demonstrates that powered wheelchair use is a multifaceted and multidisciplinary phenomenon that is dependent on numerous interconnected factors including individual adjustment, stakeholder cooperation, societal attitudes, functional performance, and environmental features. Based on the review findings, there are several applied learning outcomes and practical applications to the powered wheelchair prescription and provision.

The rejection, misuse or damage of a powered wheelchair can result in condition deterioration and loss of independence for the user.

Adult powered wheelchair prescription, maintenance, and use is a multi-faceted process spanning social, individual, environmental, technical and functional, and organisational factors.

Individuals in this stakeholder network should aim to account for these interdisciplinary factors when engaging with people who use powered wheelchairs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2304122
Number of pages14
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number00
Early online date30 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2024


  • Powered wheelchair
  • barriers to use
  • facilitating factors
  • assistive technology


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