Evaluation of Pushrim-Activated Power-Assisted Wheelchairs Using ANSI/RESNA Standards

Amol Karmarkar, Rory A. Cooper, Hsin yi Liu, Sam Connor, Jeremy Puhlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Karmarkar A, Cooper RA, Liu H, Connor S, Puhlman J. Evaluation of pushrim-activated power-assisted wheelchairs using ANSI/RESNA standards. Objective: To determine and compare performance of pushrim-activated power-assisted wheelchairs (PAPAW) (iGLIDE, e-motion, Xtender) on national standards. Design: Engineering performance and safety evaluation. Setting: A Veteran Affairs and university-based research center. Specimens: Nine PAPAWs. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Static, dynamic stability, brake effectiveness, maximum speed, acceleration, retardation, energy consumption, static, impact, and fatigue strength. Results: There was no significant difference among the 3 models in forward stability. The iGLIDE was the most stable, whereas the e-motion was the least stable model in the rearward stability tests. All PAPAWs performed equally on the slopes of 3° and 6° in the forward and rearward directions. Braking distance was the highest for e-motion (5.64±0.28m) and the lowest (1.13±0.03m) for the iGLIDE in forward direction. The average equivalent cycles of all PAPAWs were 318,292±112,776.6 cycles (n=8) on the fatigue tests. All PAPAWs passed the impact and static strength tests. Conclusions: The standards of the American National Standards Institute and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America could act as quality assurance tool for wheelchairs. The standards for wheelchairs were first approved in 1990; after 17 years, exceeding the minimum values in the standards would be a reasonable expectation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1191-1198
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Quality assurance, health care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Wheelchairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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