Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) Honours


School of Exercise and Health Science


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Lois Moir

Second Advisor

Dr Janet Richmond

Third Advisor

Associate Professor Jeannine Millsteed


The impact of powered mobility devices on occupational performance: A systematic review

Purpose: To systematically review the impact powered mobility devices have on engagement in independent occupations for adults with acquired mobility limitations. Method: The following databases were searched electronically: CINAHL Plus, Medline, PsychInfo, OT Seeker, Joanna Briggs Institute and Physiotherapy Evidence Database. The search terms used a combination of words to encompass all terms which are used for powered mobility. Studies were included if they evaluated adults’ use of a motorised mobility device, and if individuals used a powered mobility device due to acquired mobility limitation. Results: Eleven studies were eligible for inclusion. Studies varied in methodological quality and research design. One study was a true experimental design; four studies were preexperimental, and six used non-experimental designs. Positive improvements in occupational engagement were reported in five studies and increased independence was highlighted in four of these. Environmental barriers were described as being negatively associated with powered mobility use, with reports of accidents and injury closely associated with use of device when mobilising in the community. Conclusions: Due to differences in study focus, sample characteristics, outcome measures and varying methodological quality of each research study, drawing conclusions from the results is problematic. What can be suggested from the results is that environmental barriers generate difficulties and challenges for the user, which can subsequently result in accident or injury. In contrast these negative aspects, the use of a powered mobility is shown to provide positive impacts on the individual in the areas of independence, quality of life, mobility and engagement.

The experience of being a motorised mobility scooter user

Purpose: This study explored the individual experiences of being a scooter user and the ways in which scooters impact the individual’s community and social engagement, daily activities and maintenance of mobility. Method: A qualitative, constructive framework utilising purposive sampling and a semi structured interview with fourteen individuals residing within aged care facilities in Perth, Western Australia was utilised. Data was analysed thematically with questions categorised under the main areas of activities, participation and environmental factors according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework. Results: The three main themes identified through the research were knowledge, engagement and environments. Knowledge related to a lack of concise information, trialling and training prior to purchase leading to issues with the scooter catering for users’ individual needs. Engagement consisted of two sub categories of participation and interaction. Environments were broken into two areas of discrimination from the wider population and building design and barriers related to space requirements and physical barriers in the built environment. Conclusions: The research demonstrated a strong positive impact on individual’s engagement from using a scooter, while highlighting a lack of efficient knowledge about scooters, batteries, skill ability and design along with environmental challenges of discriminatory attitudes and barriers. The research indicates the need for pre-purchase assessments and trials along with improvements in community attitudes and environments. The use of a scooter results in increases to participation, role maintenance, choice, freedom and social interaction.