Wheelchair Power Assist Devices go beyond physical relief to offer more independent living

Permobil White Paper: Wheelchair Power Assist Devices go beyond physical relief to offer more independent living

There is a growing body of evidence that people who use manual wheelchairs benefit from power assist devices across all aspects of their life. In addition, Permobil’s new White Paper on power assist devices finds that an individual’s needs must be matched to the varying benefits that come from different Power Assist Devices (front, main wheel, rear).  

Stockholm, June, 14, 2022

The evidence in the new Permobil White Paper on Power Assist Devices (PADs) finds that the impact of a PAD goes across all aspects of the individual’s life. The impact goes beyond relief of repetitive strain and energy conservation but directly and indirectly affects what activities our users can participate in; the environments one can access and navigate in and how independent users are.

“The evidence around the benefits of PADs in general to relieve the shoulders, energy conservation and on difficult terrains is well-documented and increasingly well understood.  A second important conclusion we found was that the different types of PADs meet differing user needs. In other words, we need to match individuals to the right kind of PAD for them,” said Carla Nooijen, Senior Researcher, and co-author of the White Paper.

One advantage with rear PADs, such as the Permobil SmartDrive, is the compact size doesn’t inhibit access in the workplace or at home and it is easier to transport compared to other PADs. Front mounted PADs, such as Permobil’s Mototronik, were found to be the most intuitive for people to drive and can provide mobility without any pushes at all.

“This white paper allows the reader to understand the presented evidence and how it can apply to an individual's lived experience and outcome.” said Jennith Bernstein, Clinical Affairs Manager and co-author of the White Paper.

"It was an enormous freedom to be able to roll everywhere by myself. I was doing okay indoors on plain surfaces, but as soon as I got on asphalt or the tiniest little slope, I used to need help. With this [the main wheel PAD] I can basically manage completely by my own outdoors as well.”, says journalist Yasmin.

The white paper is based on a systematic literature review, complemented by a Permobil-conducted survey of 125 individuals with international representation.  In addition, in early 2022, interviews were conducted with individuals who use various types of PADs.

The authors of the white paper invite you to join a webinar on June 21st, 2022.  The webinar will cover how the systematic review informs our understanding about the impact that PADs can have. The webinar will run at three different time options.

For more information about the webinar: Permobil White Paper: A systematic review of the evidence for power assist devices.

The White Paper will be publicly released on Wednesday, June 22nd.