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Wheelchair Use Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Prevalence and Risk Factors in a National Sample

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2010

Philippa Clarke*
Affiliation:
Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University
Angela Colantonio
Affiliation:
Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
*
Requests for offprints should be sent to: / Les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être addressées à : Dr. Philippa Clarke, Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University, Box 3003, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710. (pjc@geri.duke.edu)

Abstract

Older adults are the largest group of wheelchair users yet there are no peer-reviewed studies on the national profile of older wheelchair users in Canada. We investigated the characteristics of wheelchair users in a national sample of community-dwelling older adults from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA-2). Questions on the use of assistive technology were asked of 5395 Canadians (over 64), and 4.6 per cent reported using a wheelchair. Logistic regression was used to model the factors associated with wheelchair use. Controlling for age, gender, and cognitive impairment, older adults who reported greater dependence in basic self-care and instrumental activities of daily living were more likely to use a wheelchair. However, the effects of self-care dependence on wheelchair use varied by gender, with men more likely than women to use wheelchairs with increasing self-care dependence. The number of chronic health conditions and being unmarried also increased the odds of wheelchair use. This paper quantifies the risk of wheelchair use according to critical factors that can be used to project use and plan for services.

The data reported in this paper were collected as part of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging. The core study was funded by the Seniors' Independence Research Program, through the National Health Research and Development Program (NHRDP) of Health Canada (project no. 6606-3954-MC[S]). Additional funding was provided by Pfizer Canada Incorporated through the Medical Research Council/Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada Health Activity Program, NHRDP (project no. 6603-1417–302[R]), Bayer Incorporated, and the British Columbia Health Research Foundation (projects no. 38[93-2] and no. 34[96-1]). The study was coordinated through the University of Ottawa and the Division of Aging and Seniors, Health Canada. Additional funds for the preparation of this manuscript were made available from the Opportunities Fund of the M-THAC Research Unit (from Medicare to Home and Community) at the University of Toronto, and from a post-doctoral fellowship awarded to the first author by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Résumé

Les aînés constituent le groupe le plus important d'utilisateurs de fauteuils roulants. Cependant, il n'existe à ce jour aucune étude révisée par des pairs qui dresse un profil national des aînés qui se servent de fauteuils roulants au Canada. Nous avons étudié les caractéristiques d'utilisateurs de fauteuils roulants provenant d'un échantillon national d'aînés vivant dans la collectivité tiré de l'étude sur la santé et le vieillissement au Canada (ESVC-2). Des questions sur l'utilisation des aides fonctionnelles ont été posées à 5 395 Canadiens (âgés de 65 ans et plus) et 4,6 p. 100 d'entre eux ont déclaré utiliser un fauteuil roulant. Un modèle de régression logistique a été utilisé pour représenter les facteurs liés à l'utilisation d'un fauteuil roulant. Si l'on tient compte de l'âge, du sexe et des troubles cognitifs, on constate que les aînés qui ont déclaré dépendre davantage des soins personnels de base et des activités instrumentales de la vie quotidienne ont davantage de chances d'utiliser un fauteuil roulant. Cependant, l'incidence de la dépendance aux soins personnels sur l'utilisation d'un fauteuil roulant varie selon le sexe, les hommes ayant davantage tendance que les femmes à utiliser un fauteuil roulant lorsque leur dépendance aux soins personnels augmente. La quantité de problèmes de santé chroniques ainsi que le célibat ont également tendance à accroître la probabilité d'utiliser un fauteuil roulant. Cet article quantifie les chances d'utiliser un fauteuil roulant en fonction de facteurs critiques dont on peut se servir pour prévoir et pour planifier les services nécessaires.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2005

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