Quiz 31.5B

Quiz 31.5B: Developing a process for assessing equivalency of wheelchair cushion pressure
redistribution performance

ABSTRACT: For wheelchair users who are at risk for developing pressure ulcers, cushion prescription seeks to address tissue integrity. Because many designs of wheelchair cushions exist, a need exists to estimate their performance in supporting the body. The objective of this research was to develop an approach to assess the equivalency of cushions with respect to their pressure redistribution performance. Two instrumented compliant buttock models, differing in form, were used in the evaluation. Stress and strain parameters were used to characterize load-bearing performance. A cohort of 8 wheelchair cushions was compared to a standard reference material, HR45 foam. Each cushion was measured using both models under two loading conditions. The use of compliant buttock models that are capable of measuring both stress and strain parameters offer greater capability in measuring load-bearing performance compared to previously described methods. The proposed approach was able to evaluate cushion performance and use a logic-based approach to define whether or not a cushion was equivalent to the HR45 material. Additional study is needed to further validate the approach and to define the thresholds and criteria used to define cushion equivalency.

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