Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2021 Oct 27:1-8. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2021.1989505. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To determine the extent to which wheelchair service providers conduct wheelchair-skills training, the nature of training, and the providers’ perceptions on training.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Anonymous global online survey consisting of 29 questions administered via the REDCap electronic data-capture tool to English-speaking wheelchair service providers.
RESULTS: We received 309 responses from wheelchair service providers in 35 countries. Of the respondents who responded to the question “…do you typically provide wheelchair-skills training…?” 227 (81.6%) reported “yes, always” or “yes, usually” for clients and 213 (81.9%) for caregivers. The median duration of training sessions for clients and caregivers was 45 and 30 min; the median number of sessions was 2 for both. Regarding the importance of training, 251 (94.4%) answered “very important” for clients and 201 (78.5%) for caregivers. For clients and caregivers, 182 (68.4%) and 191 (74.3%) of respondents considered themselves adequately prepared for the trainer role. A variety of barriers and facilitators to training were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: Most wheelchair service providers report that they provide wheelchair-skills training for clients and their caregivers, most consider such training to be important and most consider themselves adequately prepared for the training role. However, the amount of training is generally minimal. Further efforts are needed to address the identified barriers to training.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONMost wheelchair-service providers report that they provide wheelchair-skills training.Most consider such training to be important.Most consider themselves adequately prepared.However, the extent of training is generally minimal.These findings have implications for clinicians, educators, and policymakers.
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