community participation, disability, rehabilitation, quality of life, wheelchair



  1. Winkler, Sandra L. Hubbard PhD, OTR/L, ATP
  2. Fitzgerald, Shirley G. PhD
  3. Boninger, Michael L. MD
  4. Cooper, Rory A. PhD


This study investigated the relationship between quality-adjustability, thus capacity to customize-manual and power wheelchairs and health-related Quality of Life, as measured by the SF-36V. Using a retrospective design, Veterans Administration databases were merged to create a data set of 61,428 veterans who received a wheelchair. ANCOVA, ANOVA and logistic regressions were used to analyze data. Results suggest, when adjusting for clinical and demographic factors, veterans who received higher-quality manual wheelchairs had significantly lower physical function and significantly higher mental function, general health, and mental component summary scores than veterans who received nonadjustable, depot chairs.