Background: The World Health Organisation recommends that services accompany wheelchair distribution. This study examined the relationship of wheelchair service provision in Kenya and the Philippines and wheelchair-use–related outcomes.
Method: We surveyed 852 adult basic manual wheelchair users. Participants who had received services and those who had not were sought in equal numbers from wheelchair-distribution entities. Outcomes assessed were daily wheelchair use, falls, unassisted outdoor use and performance of activities of daily living (ADL). Descriptive, bivariate and multivariable regression model results are presented.
Results: Conditions that led to the need for a basic wheelchair were mainly spinal cord injury, polio/post-polio, and congenital conditions. Most Kenyans reported high daily wheelchair use (60%) and ADL performance (80%), while these practices were less frequent in the Philippine sample (42% and 74%, respectively). Having the wheelchair fit assessed while the user propelled the wheelchair was associated with greater odds of high ADL performance in Kenya (odds ratio [OR] 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6, 5.1) and the Philippines (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.8, 4.5). Wheelchair-related training was associated with high ADL performance in Kenya (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.3, 8.4). In the Philippines, training was associated with greater odds of high versus no daily wheelchair use but also odds of serious versus no falls (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4, 4.5).
Conclusion: Select services that were associated with some better wheelchair use outcomes and should be emphasised in service delivery. Service providers should be aware that increased mobility may lead to serious falls.