Everyday life for users of electric wheelchairs – a qualitative interview study

Camilla Blach Rossen, Bodil Sørensen, Bente Würtz Jochumsen, Gitte Wind

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to explore how users of
electric wheelchairs experience their everyday life and how
their electric wheelchairs influence their daily occupation.
Occupation is defined as a personalized dynamic interaction
between person, task and environment, and implies the
value and meaning attached. Method: Nine semi-structured
interviews were conducted with experienced electric
wheelchair users. ValMo was used as the theoretical framework
for both interviewing and the analysis. The transcribed
interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Results:
Findings revealed key elements in electric wheelchair users’
experience of how the use of a wheelchair influences everyday
life and occupation. Four central themes emerged from the
participants’ experiences 1) The functionality of the wheelchair,
2) The wheelchair as an extension of the body, 3) The wheelchair
and social life, and 4) The wheelchair and identity issues. The
themes were interrelated and show how all levels of occupation
were influenced both in a positive and negative way, and how
it affected identity. Conclusions: It is essential that professionals
working with electric wheelchair users are aware of how all
levels of occupation and identity are influenced by using a
wheelchair. This will assist professionals in supporting the users
living an autonomous and meaningful life.
Translated title of the contributionHevrdagsliv for brugere af elkørestol - et kvalitativt interview studium
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology,
Volume7
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)399-407
Number of pages9
ISSN1748-3107
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2012

Keywords

  • Electric wheelchair
  • Everyday life
  • Occupational therapy
  • Qualitative study
  • ValMO

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