An important objective of occupational therapy practice is to maximize functional potential in patients who have physical disabilities. Pressure sores are a major complication in the medical course of these individuals. Therefore, prevention, or at least the proper management, of these sores becomes an important focus for occupational therapists who treat the physically disabled patient. Occupational therapists often prescribe wheelchair cushions to relieve pressure and reduce the risk of ulceration. Unfortunately, occupational therapy literature offers few articles dealing with this significant problem. This paper presents a historical review of wheelchair cushions and details some of the physiological and clinical research efforts that are the basis of prescription practice today.

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