Keeping the big picture in mind
Seating and wheeled mobility equipment should be appropriate to the client’s body ‘size’ and ‘shape’ to optimise postural alignment and maximise and individual’s functional abilityto perform life roles.
A good preliminary approach to investigating and addressing a client’s postural needs is to use the framework presented in Module 6. This systematic approach will help direct a line of thinking from the issues identified, through to potential solutions, while also ensuring that relevant information is considered in the process.
As the generic goals of seating (pressure management, postural support, functional capability, and comfort) are closely linked it is important to ensure that changes made to improve postural support do not result in unacceptable changes to pressure management, client function or comfort.
Health professionals will be able to identify postural issues through the referral and interview process, hands-on assessment, body measurement and the seating and mobility system evaluation in Modules 2-5 to plan for seating interventions.
As described in Module 3, postural issues may be considered as either ‘fixed’, ‘flexible’ or ‘partially flexible’ (see Module 3: ‘Assessment in supine’ ). It is important to bear these categories in mind when identifying postural issues as they will clarify what intervention options are appropriate to consider.