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State Spinal Cord Injury Service

Spinal Seating Modules

Formulate trials

  • The trial wheelchair seating should be set up to the correct ‘size’ and ‘shape’ for the client
  • The trial PWC should have the driving program customised to the user’s driving skill level, activities and environmental conditions
  • For a first time user, start by teaching the client how to drive the wheelchair. Once the client is competent, introduce power seating functions or other interface technology gradually. Wheelchair training is part of the prescription process
  • Trials should be long enough to simulate the duration of typical daily activities around the home, work and community outings
  • A set ‘obstacle course’ for indoor and outdoor environment can be used if trials cannot be conducted in the home environment. This may include a specified route around the hospital that involves ramps, pedestrian crossings, kerb ramps, gutters, uneven terrain, carpet, tight circulation space and doorways. When comparing different chairs use a consistent test route
  • The clinician should list the trial conditions and ask for feedback in a systematic way using a table format. It is particularly useful when documenting clinical rationale and funding applications