Mobility Device Use and Exploration of Housing Accessibility for Powered Mobility Device Users among People Ageing with Spinal Cord Injury

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Aim: To describe the use of mobility devices among people ageing with spinal cord injury (SCI), with a specific focus on use of powered mobility devices (PMD) and housing accessibility. Method: Data on the use of walking aids (cane, crutch/es or rollator), manual wheelchair and powered wheelchair/scooter were utilized. To describe functional limitations, environmental barriers and the magnitude of accessibility problems in the home and the closest exterior surroundings for each individual, the Housing Enabler instrument was used. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. Results: Mobility devices: Among participants with paraplegia, the manual wheelchair was the most frequently used mobility device indoors, and among participants with tetraplegia, it was the PMD. The PMD was the most common mobility device used outdoors among those with tetraplegia, and among participants with paraplegia. Housing accessibility: In exterior surroundings, refuse bin difficult to reach was the environmental barrier that generated the most accessibility problems, while at entrances doors that cannot be fastened in open position was identified as the most severe environmental barrier. Indoors, the environmental barrier that generated the most accessibility problems was wall-mounted cupboard and shelves placed high. Conclusion: To enable optimal use of the PMD in the home and close neighborhoods, and support everyday activity and participation for people ageing with SCI, it is vital to take into account not only personal and environmental aspects but also the mobility device in question. Though, it could be discussed if all the environmental barriers identified in this study, actually are problems for users of a PMD, since some of them might be possible to overcome. © 2013 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences


  • Home, Paraplegia, Environmental Barriers, Electrical Wheelchair, Walking Aids, Tetraplegia, Manual Wheelchair
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssistive Technology
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Research to Practice
EditorsP. Encarnação, L. Azevedo, G.J. Gelderblom, A. Newell, N-E. Mathiassen
PublisherIOS Press
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-304-9, 978-1-61499-303-2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Event 12th biennial European conference of the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe, 2013 - Faro/Vilamoura, Portugal
Duration: 2013 Sep 192013 Sep 22
Conference number: 12

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1383-813X
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8071


Conference 12th biennial European conference of the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe, 2013
Abbreviated titleAAATE 2013