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Durability, value, and reliability of selected electric powered wheelchairs

Fass, MV and Cooper, RA and Fitzgerald, SG and Schmeler, M and Boninger, ML and Algood, SD and Ammer, WA and Rentschler, AJ and Duncan, J (2004) Durability, value, and reliability of selected electric powered wheelchairs. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 85 (5). 805 - 814. ISSN 0003-9993

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Fass MV, Cooper RA, Fitzgerald SG, Schmeler M, Boninger ML, Algood SD, Ammer WA, Rentschler AJ, Duncan J. Durability, value, and reliability of selected electric powered wheelchairs. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:805-14. Objective To compare the durability, value, and reliability of selected electric powered wheelchairs (EPWs), purchased in 1998. Design Engineering standards tests of quality and performance. Setting A rehabilitation engineering center. Specimens Fifteen EPWs: 3 each of the Jazzy, Quickie, Lancer, Arrow, and Chairman models. Interventions Not applicable. Main outcome measures Wheelchairs were evaluated for durability (lifespan), value (durability, cost), and reliability (rate of repairs) using 2-drum and curb-drop machines in accordance with the standards of the American National Standards Institute and Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. Results The 5 brands differed significantly (P≤.05) in durability, value, and reliability, except in terms of reliability of supplier repairs. The Arrow had the highest durability, value, and reliability in terms of the number of consumer failures, supplier failures, repairs, failures, consumer repairs and failures, and supplier repairs and failures. The Lancer had the poorest durability and reliability, and the Chairman had the lowest value. K0014 wheelchairs (Arrow, Permobil) were significantly more durable than K0011 wheelchairs (Jazzy, Quickie, Lancer). No significant differences in durability with respect to rear-wheel-drive (Arrow, Lancer, Quickie), mid-wheel-drive (Jazzy), or front-wheel-drive (Chairman) wheelchairs were found. Conclusions The Arrow consistently outperformed the other wheelchairs in nearly every area studied, and K0014 wheelchairs were more durable than K0011 wheelchairs. These results can be used as an objective comparison guide for clinicians and consumers, as long as they are used in conjunction with other important selection criteria. Manufacturers can use these results as a guide for continued efforts to produce higher quality wheelchairs. Care should be taken when making comparisons, however, because the 5 brands had different features. Purchased in 1998, these models may be used for several more years. In addition, problem areas in these models may still be present in newer models. © 2004 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fass, MV
Fitzgerald, SG
Schmeler, Mschmeler@pitt.eduSCHMELER0000-0001-8173-5452
Boninger, MLboninger@pitt.eduBONINGER
Algood, SD
Ammer, WA
Rentschler, AJ
Duncan, J
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Date: 1 May 2004
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume: 85
Number: 5
Page Range: 805 - 814
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.apmr.2003.08.096
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0003-9993
MeSH Headings: Electricity; Equipment Design; Equipment Failure Analysis; Materials Testing; Wheelchairs--economics; Wheelchairs--standards
PubMed ID: 15129406
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2012 20:58
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 03:55


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