Prescription and development of adapted seating devices: learning from practice
Keywords:Self-help devices. Wheelchairs. Prescriptions. Physical therapy specialty. Occupational therapy.
Introduction: A significant part of the professional activity of physiotherapists and occupational therapists who assist people with motor disabilities is the prescription and sometimes the construction of adapted seats for wheelchairs. This is a complex task that involves practice, continued education, and material and technical resources. These work together to provide the patient's access to the adapted product. Objective: To understand how the prescription and adaptation of wheelchair seats occur in practice in a public institution. Method: This study had a qualitative approach, applied nature, and exploratory objective. We utilized the case study strategy, conducted through semi-structured interviews, with seven professionals from a public state institution. The data obtained and analyzed were professionals’ practical experiences on seat adaptation for their patients. Results: We found divergences between practice and theory in the institution. The context in which the professionals operate, issues related to the institution, the production capacity of the adaptations, financial and time limitations, custom, lack of protocols and training in the area, and social and patient pressure are some of the causes of these divergencies. Conclusion: on the basis, we drew an overview of the prescription and construction of adapted seats by the institution and described the main elements that influence this practice. We believe that the training and updating of professionals, providing more resources, and a better process planning can reduce the divergences between practice and theory.
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