The experience of being a motorised mobility scooter user
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
Purpose: To explore the individual experience of being a scooter user and the ways in which scooters impact the individual’s community and social engagement, daily activities and enhances mobility. Methods: A qualitative, constructive framework utilising purposive sampling and a semi structured interview was used with 14 individuals. Questions were categorised according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework into the three areas of activities, participation and environmental factors. Results: The three main themes identified through the research were knowledge, engagement and environments. Knowledge included a lack of concise information, and adequate trialling and training prior to purchase. Engagement consisted of participation and interaction demonstrating scooter use resulted in increased participation, role maintenance, choice, freedom and social interaction. Environments highlighted discrimination from the wider population and building design and barriers. Conclusions: The research demonstrated a strong positive impact on individual’s engagement from using a scooter, while highlighting a lack of adequate knowledge about scooters, batteries, skill ability and design along with environmental challenges of discriminatory attitudes and physical barriers. The research indicates the need for pre-purchase assessments and trials along with improvements in community attitudes and environments.Implications for Rehabilitation: 1 Development of a pre-purchase assessment including specific core skills for scooter use is of great importance to minimise accidents and death as a consequence of scooter driving. 2 Education and training of prescribers and suppliers of scooters is important to match needs and skills to enable a better fit of scooter to user. 3 Incorporation of adjustability of features within the standard design of scooters, including type of driving controls, seat height, and adjustment of distance to controls, will enable greater fit of scooter to the users needs.