29th Annual RESNA Conference Proceedings

Use of Higher Quality Wheelchairs by Race and Gender

Diane M. Collins, PhD1,2, Shirley G. Fitzgerald, PhD1,2, Annmarie Kelleher, MS1,2, Emily Teodorski BS1,2, Rory A. Cooper, PhD1,2

1Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA;
2Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh


To investigate disparity in use of higher quality wheelchairs by race and gender, data from an established wheelchair registry were analyzed. Higher Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services wheelchair classification K-Codes represented higher quality wheelchairs. No significant differences in wheelchair quality were between ethnic groups. Of the manual wheelchair group, females used significantly more K0004 and less K0005 wheelchairs, compared to males who predominately used K0005 wheelchairs. Females used more lower quality power wheelchairs (K0011s) than males, though not to a significant degree. Significantly, females had progressive conditions more often than males, and lower quality wheelchairs may not meet their changing physical needs.


assistive technology, disparity, ethnicity, gender, wheelchairs

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