High rates of wheelchair breakdowns have been reported by users with spinal cord injury (SCI and the problem is seems to be worsening according to a study in American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (AJPM&R), the official journal of the Association of Academic Physiatrists.
The study established that more than 50 percent of wheelchair users experienced a breakdown in a six-month period. They also found a considerable rise in wheelchair breakdowns resulting in health and safety consequences. Power wheelchairs were found to have more problems than manual wheelchairs. These rates were particularly high in wheelchairs equipped with power seat functions.
Individuals whose wheelchairs were financed by Medicare Plan or Medicaid had higher rates of breakdowns and consequences, in contrast to those covered by private insurance or other.
Approximately 2.8 million Americans use a wheelchair for mobility, which allows them greater freedom in their day to day functions, home life, and vocational settings. The new data shows concern over the breakdown of wheelchairs faced by users with SCI . The higher risk among people whose wheelchairs are funded by Medicare advantage Plan/Medicaid may be at least partially associated to recent changes in insurance repayment policy.
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