Original article Counter-commentary| Volume 95, ISSUE 4, P608-609, April 2014

Perfect—the Enemy of Good


      Our article has limitations, which we thoroughly describe. However, as the article highlights, wheelchairs are requiring repairs much too often, the repairs are causing significant consequences for users, and the problem is getting worse. The commentary concludes that producing a strong study will be difficult and of limited value, but offers no call for better, larger studies or suggestions for improvements. We believe there is much to be learned from our data, and our conclusion is that we need to do better. We need more information, larger cohorts, and better methods. It is the best way to cause changes that will positively impact the millions of wheelchair users around the world.
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        • Iezzoni L.I.
        • Ogg M.
        Performance metrics for power wheelchairs: a pipe dream?.
        Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014; 95: 604-607
        • Worobey L.
        • Oyster M.
        • Pearlman J.
        • Gebrosky B.
        • Boninger M.
        Differences between manufacturers in reported power wheelchair repairs and adverse consequences among people with spinal cord injury.
        Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014; 95: 597-603
        • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration
        Guidance document for the preparation of premarket notification [510k] applications for mechanical and powered wheelchairs, and motorized three-wheeled vehicles.
        Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Rockville1995 (Reformatted (December 18, 1997). Available at: Accessed January 16, 2014)

      Linked Article

      • Differences Between Manufacturers in Reported Power Wheelchair Repairs and Adverse Consequences Among People With Spinal Cord Injury
        Archives of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationVol. 95Issue 4
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          To compare the frequency of power wheelchair (PWC) repairs and consequences experienced over a 6-month period by individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) who use a PWC ≥40h/wk, based on manufacturer, seating functions, Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) group, and model, and over time.
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      • Performance Metrics for Power Wheelchairs: A Pipe Dream?
        Archives of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationVol. 95Issue 4
        • Preview
          Power wheelchair (PWC) users depend on their equipment to reliably transport them throughout daily activities and allow them to participate fully in community life. However, as reported by Worobey and colleagues, PWCs frequently require repairs and cause users a variety of problems, which can range from annoying to catastrophic. These authors suggest that comparing the performance of individual PWC makes and models—a PWC Consumer Reports—might be helpful to inform users and others about the relative quality of different products.
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