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Evaluation of lightweight wheelchairs using ANSI/RESNA testing standards

Gebrosky, B and Pearlman, J and Cooper, RA and Cooper, R and Kelleher, A (2013) Evaluation of lightweight wheelchairs using ANSI/RESNA testing standards. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 50 (10). 1373 - 1389. ISSN 0748-7711

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Lightweight wheelchairs are characterized by their low cost and limited range of adjustment. Our study evaluated three different folding lightweight wheelchair models using the American National Standards Institute/Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (ANSI/RESNA) standards to see whether quality had improved since the previous data were reported. On the basis of reports of increasing breakdown rates in the community, we hypothesized that the quality of these wheelchairs had declined. Seven of the nine wheelchairs tested failed to pass the multidrum test durability requirements. An average of 194,502 +/- 172,668 equivalent cycles was completed, which is similar to the previous test results and far below the 400,000 minimum required to pass the ANSI/ RESNA requirements. This was also significantly worse than the test results for aluminum ultralight folding wheelchairs. Overall, our results uncovered some disturbing issues with these wheelchairs and suggest that manufacturers should put more effort into this category to improve quality. To improve the durability of lightweight wheelchairs, we suggested that stronger regulations be developed that require wheelchairs to be tested by independent and certified test laboratories. We also proposed a wheelchair rating system based on the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration vehicle crash ratings to assist clinicians and end users when comparing the durability of different wheelchairs.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gebrosky, B
Pearlman, Jjpearlman@pitt.eduJLP460000-0003-0830-9136
Cooper, Rcooperrm@pitt.eduCOOPERRM
Kelleher, Aakellehe@pitt.eduAKELLEHE
Date: 1 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Volume: 50
Number: 10
Page Range: 1373 - 1389
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1682/jrrd.2012.08.0155
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
School of Medicine > Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0748-7711
Date Deposited: 22 May 2015 21:02
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 14:56


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