Introduction: Northern Ireland Wheelchair Guidelines state that wheelchair users who wish to drive their National Health Service (NHS) provided powered wheelchairs outdoors must complete an electrically powered indoor/outdoor chair (EPIOC) test. Within the same guidelines children in Northern Ireland (NI) under the age of ten are not permitted to complete this assessment. Research was completed to evaluate how children under ten years would perform in EPIOC training and testing under adult supervision.Method: A case-study design was utilised with three children aged seven to nine years to evaluate if: these children can complete EPIOC training/testing safely with adult supervision; length of time using an electric powered indoor chair (EPIC) correlates with performance on EPIOC training/testing; the current NI guidelines on age restriction should be re-evaluated so that each child is assessed on an individual basis rather than age.Findings: Paediatric powered wheelchair users aged seven to nine years can become competent EPIOC users with adequate training and adult supervision. Length of time (years) driving an EPIC may not correlate with improved EPIOC performance. Conclusion: Regional NI criteria relating to EPIOC provision for children should be revised in order to consider an individual needs assessment, rather than imposing an age restriction.
- power mobility
McCourt, EE., & Casey, JJ. (2016). Electrically powered indoor/outdoor chair performance for children aged seven to nine years. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79(10), 584-590. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308022616636405