Objective.This quantitative study describes the transition from manual to powered mobility and its influence on occupational performance (organization of daily tasks, assumption of responsibility, roles, interests) and feelings of competence, adaptability, and self-esteem.

Method.The Occupational Performance History Interview (OPHI) was used with a convenience sample of 8 participants with both static and progressive conditions to measure retrospectively changes in occupational performance after the change from a manual wheelchair to a powered mobility device (PMD). The Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Device Scale (PIADS) was used to measure participants’ perceptions of the impact of the PMD on their competence, adaptability, and self-esteem.

Results.A comparison of the pretest and posttest means on the OPHI scores showed a significant improvement in occupational performance (p = .001) after the introduction of PMDs. The PIADS scores showed a positive impact of 2 or greater for 75% of the participants on 19 of 26 items. Scores were similar to scores in a PIADS database of persons with comparable conditions. No significant relationship between occupational performance and psychosocial impact was demonstrated.

Conclusion.Results suggest that the transition to a PMD enhances occupational performance, competence, adaptability, and self-esteem for persons with severe mobility impairments.

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