Mobility for Occupational Engagement: Promoting the Maintenance of Wheelchair for Residents of Skilled Nursing Faciliities and Their Caregivers

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, EdD, OTR/L

Thesis Advisor

Bonnie Napier-Tibere, EdD, OTR/L

Second Advisor

Ruth Ramsey, EdD, OTR/L


Wheelchair users who reside in skilled nursing facilities are at risk for experiencing problems due to unmaintained wheelchairs. Wheelchair-related problems fall into four main categories: health and safety are at risk when wheelchairs are not properly maintained, financial issues regarding cost of injuries and obtainment of equipment, the wheelchair user’s functional mobility, and the wheelchair user’s personal feelings regarding issues of confidence and quality of life. The purpose of this project was to develop a wheelchair maintenance manual that can be used by skilled nursing facility clients, staff, and family. The challenge for occupational therapists who perform wheelchair evaluation and fitting is to also provide resources that will assist clients in keeping the wheelchairs in safe and functional condition. The wheelchair maintenance manuals’ evaluation results are examined and future recommendations for wheelchair maintenance education are made.

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