The Experience of Active Wheelchair Provision and Aspects of Importance Concerning the Wheelchair Among Experienced Users in Sweden

Main Article Content

Anna-Karin Edberg
Dennis Persson


negotiation, qualitative research, wheelchair prescription


This qualitative study describes the experience of active ultra lightweight rigid frame wheelchairs (active wheelchairs) provision. Eleven interviews with experienced users showed that the wheelchair should support physical as well as social functioning, but that users experienced injustice and unfairness when negotiating their wheelchair needs and felt insecure within the system. Changes of attitudes and organization are suggested. 

Abstract 177 | PDF Downloads 71 Word Downloads 25 Text Downloads 42


Arnell, J. (1999). Hjälpmedelsmarknaden i Sverige - En översikt [The assistive devices market in Sweden - An overview.] Stockholm, Sweden: Hjälpmedelsinstitutet.

Batavia, M. (1998). The wheelchair evaluation: A practical guide. USA: Butterworth-Heineman.

Beazley, S., Moore, M., & Benzie, D. (1997). Involving disabled people in research: A study of inclusion in environmental activities. In C. Barnes & G. Mercer (Eds.), Doing disability research (pp. 142-157). Leeds, UK: The Disability Press.

Berg, B. L. (2001). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Bergström, A. L., & Samuelsson, K. (2006). Evaluation of manual wheelchairs by individuals with spinal cord injuries. Disabil Rehabil: Assistive Technology, 1, 175-182.

Blomquist, U.-B. (2006). Förändringar av landstingens och kommunernas regelverk och förskrivning av hjälpmedel under de senaste tre åren [Changes in the regulations of the municipalities and county councils regarding prescriptions of assistive devices during the last three years]. Stockholm, Sweden: Hjälpmedelsinstitutet.

Bourdieu, P. (1992). Kultur och kritik. Uddevalla, Sweden: Daidalos.

Bourdieu, P. (1991). Kultursociologiska texter. Stockholm/Skåne, Sweden: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion AB.

Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction. UK: Routledge.

Breakey, J. W. (1997). Body image: The inner mirror. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 9(3), 107-112.

Burkitt, I. (2004). The time and space of everyday life. Cultural Studies, 18(2/3), 211-227.

Childress, D. S. (2002). Development of rehabilitation engineering over the years: As I see it. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 39(6), 1-10.

Cooper R. A. (1998). Wheelchair selection and configuration. USA: Demos.

Cooper, R. A., Boninger, M. L., & Rentschler, A. (1999). Evaluation of selected ultralight manual wheelchairs using ANSI/RESNA standards. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 80, 462-467.

Curtin, M., & Fossey, E. (2007). Appraising the trustworthiness of qualitative studies: Guidelines for occupational therapists. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 54, 88-94.

Desmond, D., & MacLachalan, M. (2002). Psychosocial issues in the field of prosthetics and orthotics. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 14(1), 19-22.

DHR [The Swedish National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities]: Rörelsehinderförbundens hjälpmedelsprojekt (2003). Rörelsehindrades syn på hjälpmedel [Persons with mobility disabilities’ views on assistive devices]. De Handikappades Riksförbund [The Swedish National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities] (DHR). Stockholm, Sweden: author.

DiGiovine, M. M., Cooper, R. A., Boninger, M. L., Lawrence, B. M., VanSickle, D. P., & Rentschler, A. J. (2000). User assessment of manual wheelchair ride comfort and ergonomics. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 81, 490-494.

Eftring, H. (1999). The useworthiness of robots for people with physical disabilities (Doctoral dissertation). Lund, Sweden: CERTEC, LTH, 1:1999.

Frick-Meijer, O. (2005). Statistik försålda manuella rullstolar 1983/84 - 2004/05 [Statistics sold manual wheelchairs 1983/84 – 2004/05]. Retrieved from

Goffman, E. (1990). The presentation of self in everyday life. London, UK: Penguin Books.

Graneheim, U. H., & Lundman, B. (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: Concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today, 24, 105-112.

Gustafsson, B., Hermerén, G., & Petersson, B. (2006). Good research practice - What is it? Views, guidelines and examples. Retrieved from:

Hallström, I., & Elander, G. (2001). A comparison of patient needs as ranked by patients and nurses. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 15(3), 228-234.

Hjälpmedelsinstitutet (2008, 26 February). Lista och rutiner för hantering och fakturering av hjälpmedel vid flytt mellan landsting och kommuner inom hjälpmedelscentralerna/motsvarande [List of and routines for handling and invoices of assistive devices when moving between county councils and municipalities within assistive devices centrals/comparable]. Retrieved from

Hjälpmedelsinstitutet: Webb-HIDA (2008). Retrieved from

Kilbourn, B. (2006). The qualitative doctoral dissertation proposal. Teachers College Record. 108(4), 529-76.

Kittel, A., & DiMarco, A., & Stewart, H. (2002). Factors influencing the decision to abandon manual wheelchairs for three individuals with a spinal cord injury. Disabil Rehabil, 24, 106-114.

Lindgren B. (2006). Landstingens skyldigheter och individens rättigheter [The obligations of the county councils and the rights of the individual]. In K. Hansson (Ed.), Etiska utmaningar i hälso- och sjukvården [Ethical challenges in the health- and medical care] (pp. 125-160). Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur.

NSH - Nordic cooperation on disability (2003). Provision of assistive technology in the Nordic countries. Solna, Sweden: Nordiska Rådet.

Rönnberg L. (2005). Den rättsliga regleringen på Hälso- och sjukvårdens område [The legal regulation of health and medical services]. In Studentlitteratur Med rätten i fokus (pp. 149-176). Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur.

Routhier, F., Vincent, C., Desrosiers, J., & Nadeau S. (2003). Mobility of wheelchair users: A proposed performance assessment framework. Disability and Rehabilitation, 25, 19-34.

Sandywell, B. (2004). The myth of everyday life. Toward a heterology of the ordinary. In memoriam Steven A. Crook (1950-2002). Cultural Studies, 18(2-3), 160-180.

Sapey, B., Stewart, J., & Donaldson, G. (2004). The social implications of increases in wheelchair use. Retrieved from

Scherer, M., Jutai, J., Fuhrer, M., Demers, L., & Deruyter, F. (2007). A framework for modelling the selection of assistive technology devices (ATDs). Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 2(1), 1-8.

SFS 1983:763. Hälso- och sjukvårdslagen, HsL [Swedish Statute-book 1983:763, Health and Medical Services Act]. Retrieved from

SFS 2003:460. Lagen om etikprövning av forskning som avser människor [Swedish Statute-book 2003:460, The Act Concerning the Ethical Review of Research Involving Humans]. Retrieved from

Svensson, M., Ödegaard, K., & Persson, U. (2007). Hjälpmedel och läkemedelsnära produkter – en kartläggning av marknaden [Assistive devices and related products – the market today]. Retrieved from:

Wendell, S. (2001). Unhealthy disabled: Treating chronic illnesses as disabilities. Hypatia, 16(4), 17-33.

Wressle, E., & Samuelsson, K. (2004). User satisfaction with mobility assistive devices. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 11, 143-150.