Responses to the Acquisition and Use of Power Mobility by Individuals Who Have Multiple Sclerosis and Their Families

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Abstract

PURPOSE

To develop an understanding of family members' reactions to the acquisition of power mobility by persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) from the perspectives of the end users and their family members.

METHODS

Data were obtained through semistructured interviews with seven persons with MS using or considering power mobility and four of their family members.

RESULTS

Three major themes emerged from the data. Recognizing the Need for Power Mobility resulted from the interaction between multiple sclerosis progression and the participants' desired performance. Family decision making and communication, insurance funding and approval, and the physical and social environment were just some of the factors affecting the process of Deciding and Obtaining the Power Mobility. Using Power Mobility resulted in positive, negative, and neutral outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

This study uncovered an overall lack of resources and some issues within the family environment, such as communication and decision making, both of which can negatively impact the acquisition and use of power mobility for persons with MS. Understanding these challenges may assist occupational therapists to facilitate this transition with their clients.

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