The impact of specialist seating on a person's quality of live and functional abilities

SHELSTONE, Hannah (2015). The impact of specialist seating on a person's quality of live and functional abilities. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

A good posture is required in seating to provide a stable and balanced position from which activities can be completed independently, ensuring that the body is at the least risk of damage. When sitting with a poor posture, an imbalance of weight distribution can lead to the development of pressure ulcers and other severe physical complications, as well as impeding on function and communication and in turn impacting a person's quality of life and wellbeing. This means that individuals with diminished abilities to reposition to maintain a good posture due to muscle weakness and poor motor control require specialist seating to maintain an optimal sitting posture, reducing the likelihood of these complications developing. Tilt-in-space mechanisms have been developed in seating to provide postural alignment in order to offload pressure, provide a stable sitting position to improve function, relieve fatigue and maximise comfort for those with poor mobility and are therefore seated for many hours of the day. Research in this area has focused on tilt-in-space wheelchairs and understanding how and why the function is utilised for people living with severe disabilities as a result of a variety of conditions. The current study investigated, through qualitative semi-structured interviews, the impact of specialist seating on the quality of life and functional abilities for adults living with long term conditions or physical disabilities who were prescribed a tilt-in space armchair for the management of their condition and postural needs. Four participants were recruited from the case-load of a community occupational therapist working within a northern NHS Trust in England utilising a purposive sampling method. Data was analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, identified as a suitable data analysis method for research exploring how individuals perceive their life experiences in terms of their health needs. The interviews revealed that all 4 Hannah Shelstone 23038436 participants found a different significant benefit of their tilt-in-space armchair in terms of comfort and pain relieving aspects, fatigue management and aiding rest, activity levels and independence. The bespoke nature of the chairs and funding issues were also important to highlight. The results have raised the awareness of the benefits of tilt-in-space seating for individuals with limited mobility as a result of a variety of conditions and disabilities, which occupational therapists need to consider when considering seating and positioning options.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 13:22
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 04:48
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12187

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