Date Presented 04/20/2023

Recipients (N = 86) of seating and mobility services in El Salvador, provided by OTs using a short-term medical mission (STMM) model, reported a statistically significant (p < .001; d > 1) performance improvement in in-home and out-of-home occupations with a large effect size. In comparison with prior research related to the provision of seating and mobility services in low- and middle-income countries, the findings emphasize the importance of education and training.

Primary Author and Speaker: Isaac Short

Additional Authors and Speakers: Heather Y. Z. St. Peters

Contributing Authors: Jonah Eckert, Natalie Grady, Holly Weber, Erin Mohr

PURPOSE: This study examined perceptions of receiving seating and mobility services for individuals with disabilities in El Salvador and analyzed the impact of services on preferred occupations using the standardized Wheelchair Outcome Measure (WhOM). Hypotheses postulated a statistically significant increase in satisfaction ratings for in-home and out-of-home occupations. Because evidence regarding the benefits of wheelchair provision remains mixed, this study focused on one model that included service provision with fitting, training, and education by rehabilitation professionals.

DESIGN: A retrospective one-group pretest/posttest model was implemented.

METHOD: Participants included recipients of seating and mobility services from the past five years. In-country partners administered a survey based on areas of occupation outlined in the OTPF-4 and the standardized Wheelchair Outcome Measure (WhOM) for those who received a wheelchair as their mobility device. Descriptive statistics detailed perceptions and paired samples t tests using WhOM addressed changes in reported satisfaction for in-home and out-of-home occupations.

RESULTS: For most survey questions on ADLs, more than 86% of respondents indicated positive impact. For questions describing the effect on work and education, more than 45% of respondents answered that the question did not apply to their situation. WhOM scores demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in performance satisfaction of both in-home and out-of-home occupations after receiving services with a large effect size (P < .001; d > 1).

CONCLUSIONS: Seating and mobility services that include training and education provided by rehabilitation professionals Salvador improved participation in occupations for people with disabilities inside and outside the home. Compared to similar services, the study emphasizes the importance of service provision with education and training by rehabilitation professionals as best practices.


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