Research

Specialist seating and wheelchairs: what matters to young people? (2011)

Gillian Taylor, Oxford Brookes University

Download TAYLOR 2012 FINAL REPORT

A qualitative study entitled “Wheelchair seating equipment for children: parents’/carers’ views and experiences” was recently completed (Taylor and Porter 2009). It was funded by the Elizabeth Casson Trust and was presented at the PMG conference in 2009. During the planning process for this recent study, it was considered whether to involve children/young people in the interview process. It was finally agreed that parents’/carers’ views and experiences should be sought, as they were the ones deciding whether or not the equipment was used within their daily routines. However, as the study progressed, the question of whether the children were to be involved was raised by several of the participants. Additionally, the importance of seeking the views of young wheelchair users themselves has remained a priority for future work and a review of the literature identifies little research in this area.

Although the main focus of the study will be young wheelchair users, the views of the parents/carers will also be sought, separately from the children/young people, through interviews or possibly focus groups. This will build on the knowledge gained from the recently completed study. It is widely accepted within organisations that provide services to children/young people that the views and opinions of young people themselves should be sought and used to inform practice.

This study will provide an insight into what is important to young wheelchair users, which may be of use to those working within wheelchair services, as well as designers and manufacturers of specialist seating and wheelchair equipment.

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