Locally manufactured wheelchairs in Tanzania – are users satisfied?
Background: The government of Tanzania created opportunity for the production of wheelchairs that would be appropriate to the local needs and environment.
Objectives: The study assessed the extent to which the wheelchairs met the activity and participation needs of the users, as well as the users’ level of satisfaction with the provision, repair and maintenance of these wheelchairs.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional analytical design was utilized to collect data through the administration of a questionnaire among 75 adult wheelchair users.
Results: Participants had used wheelchairs for an average period of 9.3 years. Most participants (61%) had sustained spinal cord injuries, and used three-wheeler chairs (76%). More than 90% reported that their wheelchairs positively influenced their activity and participation needs, and 85% were satisfied with their ability to carry out daily activities. Participants expressed satisfaction with the durability of the wheelchairs (89%), and the professional services received (71%), but not with follow-up services (77%). There was difference in satisfaction with features of 3-wheeler and 4-wheeler rigid chairs (p=0.030).
Conclusion: The wheelchairs positively impacted participants’ activity and participation needs. Participants were satisfied with the features of the wheelchairs but not with follow-up services. The concerns of dissatisfied users should be addressed.
Keywords: Wheelchair, consumer satisfaction, mobility limitation, self-help devices, developing country
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