Mobility and multiple sclerosis: Evaluation of prescription and use of the manual wheelchair in France

  • Donzé C
  • Guyot M
  • Empis H
  • et al.
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Introduction.- For multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, wheelchair is bad news which, unfortunately for patients and caregivers, means treatment has failed. For them, the wheelchair's main objective, mobility, is lost. Objective.- Our objective was to develop a national inventory on prescription and use of manual wheelchairs in MS and to establish a tool for therapeutic patient education. Method.- Patients (EDSS 5-7.5) were included from the database EDMUS of omposed of 8 MS networks. 1940 questionnaires were sent to MS patients. The semi-structured questionnaire related to different stages of acquisition of their manual wheelchair, its daily use as perceived by the patient and caregiver, and skills. Descriptive and exploratory analyses of the 538 questionnaires received were completed. Results.- 368 patients with MS were evaluated (mean age: 53.8 years, mean duration of illness: 18.3 years). The first person to mention using a wheelchair was the patient (37%) followed by the neurologist (30.7%). The prescription was written by the general practitioner (44.6%). 72% of applications were for outdoor use with 51.6% for fatigue. 48.1% of patients had tried their manual wheelchair including 31.1% with trials outside. Only 20.6% had learned how to use it. Discussion.- Studies on manual wheelchairs in MS are rare, while the loss of mobility is one of the characteristics of this disease. The quality of life of people with MS is influenced by their capacity move about. The manual wheelchair requires a complex combination of skills to achieve this goal. Conclusion.- Our study pinpoints deficiencies in knowledge about manual wheelchairs in MS. These results showthe need to establish a specific therapeutic education program for patients.




Donzé, C., Guyot, M. A., Empis, H., Lenne, B., & Hautecoeur, P. (2011). Mobility and multiple sclerosis: Evaluation of prescription and use of the manual wheelchair in France. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 54, e8.

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