Nursing home residents sit in wheelchairs (WCs) for extended periods, often with slumped posture. They often experience pneumonia, pressure ulcers, and pain. This study described WC seated posture with its selected predictors and outcomes in the nursing home environment, throughout the daytime hours of 1 day.
Design and Methods
This observational study (n = 45) in two Veterans Administration Community Living Centers introduced a new measure of WC fit and described WC seated posture of older Veterans, with selected predictors and outcomes.
Wheelchair seated posture was predicted by cognitive status, WC fit, WC skills, and duration of sitting, but not by level of sitting ability. Poor posture measured by the Seated Posture Scale was associated with pain. Highest interface pressures measurable were seen in peak pressure index (PPI = 200 mm Hg), indicating risk of pressure injury. Veterans often denied discomfort, possibly lowering overall pain scores, while reporting severe pain in specific body parts.
Wheelchair seated posture was predicted by cognitive status, WC fit, WC skills, and duration of sitting. Poor posture was associated with pain, and poor posture was an outcome of poor WC fit. Poor WC fit in this study supported earlier findings in non-Veterans Administration nursing homes.