Volume 15, Issue 4 (December 2017)                   Iranian Rehabilitation Journal 2017, 15(4): 377-388 | Back to browse issues page

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Desai S, Mantha S, Phalle V. Comprehensive Needs Assessment Study and Deployment of QFD Targeted at New Wheelchair Design. Iranian Rehabilitation Journal. 2017; 15 (4) :377-388
URL: http://irj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-769-en.html
1- Department of Mechanical Engineering, Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai, India.
Abstract:   (4341 Views)
Objectives: Extensive use of wheelchair increases caregiver dependency, risk of bedsores, risk of injury during transfer, and so on, and it effectively decreases quality of life, safety, and comfort of the people with disability. Therefore, improving the design of wheelchairs is highly essential in promoting the quality of life and level of participation among people with disability. The design of wheelchair for users of a developed country might be inadequate in comparison to a developing country such as India because the users’ needs and driving conditions are completely different. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to understand the perspective of Indian wheelchair users through comprehensive needs assessment study and to recognize the primary design parameters and to prioritize them for evidence-based design solution.
Methods: A preliminary analysis was conducted through direct surveillance of wheelchairs (manual and electric) and deliberations with the healthcare professionals. Observations of this analysis were used to guide the design of the research questionnaire and interview guide. Comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data related to the design of the wheelchair were provided by a sample of 115 wheelchair users. The assessment of needs and expectations was performed by using the framework approach and with SPSS tool. Then, the data were further analyzed using Quality Function Deployment (QFD) design through House of Quality (HoQ) tool to recognize and prioritize design parameters for evidence-based design targeted at enhancement of quality of life of people with disability.
Results: Four key themes emerged: 1. Difficulties in transfer from wheelchair to and from bed; 2. Difficulty to stand from seating position; 3. Problems in using commode; and 4. Risk of bedsores due to extensive use of wheelchair. Furthermore, QFD-based analysis revealed that out of 11 design parameters recommended by cross-functional team based on needs assessment study the following parameters received the highest technical importance: 1. Sit to stand transfer feature (13.90%); 2. Bedsore prevention feature (12.60%); 3. Sit to sleep transfer feature (12.00%); and 4. Adjustable backrest with multi-posture adjustment feature (11.20%).
Discussion: The results of this study are useful in understanding the perspective of Indian wheelchair users’ needs toward evidence-based wheelchair design. The design parameters with high absolute and relative technical importance can be selected to design new wheelchairs for Indian users in order to enhance the quality of life, comfort, and safety of people with disability.
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Type of Study: Original Research Articles | Subject: methodology in rehabilitation
Received: 2017/08/24 | Accepted: 2017/10/20 | Published: 2017/12/1

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