Exploring the experiences of people using wheelchair skill and training programmes in Edinburgh
This project begins with a literature review to investigate current research that has been conducted in relation to wheelchair training programmes. The review will include studies that in the researcher’s opinion are most relevant to this area of occupational therapy and will offer critiques to explain the value these studies have as evidence in practice. The aim of this project is to explore people’s experiences of a wheelchair skills and training programme based in Edinburgh. To achieve this aim the researcher has chosen to use a qualitative approach through narrative enquiry synthesising the data using thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four participants one of whom had completed her involvement with the service while the remaining three were still involved when the interviews were carried out. Based on these interviews a collective narrative with four themes was formulated, Where can I get help?, I need to get out and about, Working with the Community and Orientation and Mobility Service and I’ll take it from here. The collective narrative described in this project provides an insight into the experiences of clients using wheelchair skills and training programmes. It highlights areas which proved to be beneficial for service users such as emotional support, trust and confidence in staff to make appropriate decisions and the means to establish links with other services expanding their support network. Upon reviewing the data presented it is evident that wheelchair skills and training programmes are an important service for wheelchair users. This service assists wheelchair users in their goals to maintain or re-establish their independence by participating in occupations within the home and community environments.