P1: Evaluating Needs & Experiences

Purpose and Objectives: The overall goal of this research project is to evaluate the effectiveness, impact, and relevance of wheeled mobility devices from the perspective of consumers, caregivers, health care providers, policy makers, and funding agencies. Project 1 will occur in three phases and address four objectives.

Phase 1: Qualitative interviews will address the following objectives (year 1)

Phase 2: Focus groups (years 1, 3, 6)

Phase 3: Observational studies of efficacy (years 3-6)

Objective 1: To ascertain how older adults, caregivers, health care professionals, policy makers, and funding agencies define the technological, social, and physical needs and abilities of individuals aged 60+ with respect to power wheelchairs.

Objective 2: To investigate how older adults, caregivers, and health care providers perceive and experience smart wheelchairs and their concomitant influence on social engagement.

Objective 3: To assist the members of the Assistive Technology Team in identifying the technological needs and abilities of older adults with respect to smart wheelchairs.

Objective 4: To observe and assess how well smart wheelchairs work with and for older adults, particularly in novel situations.


Korotchenko A, Hurd Clarke L. ‘Becoming disabled yet again’: Experiences of power mobility device use among individuals ageing with mobility impairments. Ageing and Society. 2016 July;36(6):1238-1253. doi:10.1017/S0144686X15000288

Mortenson WB, Hurd Clarke L, Best K. Prescribers’ experiences with powered mobility prescription among older adults. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2013 Jan-Feb;67(1):100-7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.006122

Korotchenko A, Hurd Clarke L. Power mobility and the built environment: the experiences of older Canadians. Disability & Society. 2013 Sep 2;29(3):431-43. doi:10.1080/09687599.2013.816626

Mortenson WB, Hammell KW, Luts A, Soles C, Miller WC. The power of power wheelchairs: Mobility choices of community-dwelling, older adults. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2015 May 18; Early Online:1-8.

Wang RH, Mihailidis A, Dutta T, Fernie GF. Usability testing of multimodal feedback interface and simulated collision-avoidance power wheelchair for long-term-care home residents with cognitive impairments. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. 2011;48(7):801-22. doi:10.1682/JRRD.2010.08.0147

Wang R, Korotchenko A, Hurd Clarke L, Mortenson WB, Mihailidis A. Power mobility with collision avoidance for older adults: User, caregiver and therapist perspectives. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. 2013 Mar;50(9):1287-1300. http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2012.10.0181.

Local Conferences

Korotchenko A, Hurd Clarke L. Canadians growing older with mobility impairments discuss aging, identity, and assistive technology. Paper to be presented at the Canadian Association on Gerontology, Vancouver, BC, October 18 — 20, 2012.

National Conferences

Best, K., Mortenson, W., & Hurd Clarke, L. Collision avoidance and path planning technologies for older wheelchair users. Poster presented at the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), FICCDAT, Toronto, June 5 — 8, 2011.

Korotchenko A, Hurd Clarke L. Power mobility users: Views on path planning technologies for older wheelchair users. Poster presentation at Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), FICCDAT, Toronto, ON, June 5 — 8, 2011.

International Conferences

Korotchenko, A., & Hurd Clarke, L. “My machine, my legs”: Older adults discuss the body, disability, and assistive technology. Paper presented at the British Gerontology Conference, Plymouth, United Kingdom, July 5 — 7, 2011.

Rushton PW, Mortenson B, Viswanathan P, Wang R, Hurd Clarke L, CanWheel Research Team. Intelligent Power Wheelchairs for residents in long-term care facilities: Potential users’ experiences and perceptions. Presentation at Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), Indianapolis, Indiana, June 11-15 2014.