The objectives of this study were: to identify the factors that are associated with prescription of wheeled mobility devices for older adults, and to determine the effect that living setting has on the types of devices that older adults receive. Retrospective medical chart review at the Center for Assistive Technology on 337 older individuals. These individuals were aged >60 years, and each of them received a new wheeled mobility device from the center during 2007 or 2008. Data were analyzed in three tiers: tier 1 (manual versus powered mobility devices); tier 2 (motorized scooters versus power wheelchairs); and tier 3 (customized versus standard power wheelchairs). For tier 1, the factor associated with higher odds for receipt of manual wheelchairs versus powered were: cognitive limitations (OR = .03). For tier 2, diagnosis of cardio-vascular and pulmonary conditions were associated with prescription of motorized scooters (OR = 3.9). For tier 3, neurological conditions (OR = 3.1), male gender (OR = .37), institutional living (OR = .23), and lower age (OR = .96) were associated with receipt of customized power wheelchairs. This study objectively describes factors associated with prescription of wheeled mobility for older adults. This information can aid in development of guidelines and improving standards of practice for prescription of wheelchairs for older adults.
Factors associated with provision of wheelchairs in older adults