The development of a nationwide registry of wheelchair users

Shirley G. Fitzgerald, Annmarie Kelleher, Emily Teodorski, Diane M. Collins, Michael Boninger, Rory A. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This paper provides an overview of the development of a wheelchair users registry and subsequently describes a population of individuals who use wheelchairs. The characteristics of Americans who permanently use wheelchairs and scooters are currently unknown. As the result of developing a Registry of individuals who use wheeled mobility devices for systematic recruitment for research studies, this study provides a description of a nationwide sample of over 1000 individuals who used wheelchairs or scooters for their daily mobility. The Registry is predominantly Caucasian (83%), 63% male, with a mean age of 50 years. Some 54% used manual wheelchairs for an average of 16 years. When quality of wheelchairs was compared, results indicated those in more customizable manual wheelchairs were significantly more likely to be younger. Males were significantly more likely to receive more customizable, heavy duty power wheelchairs than females. The Wheelchair Users Registry provides an organized and systematic way to maintain contact with previous research participants. Expected to grow in size, the Registry may enable an even more diverse pool of subjects interested in participating in research studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-365
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Wheelchairs
  • database
  • demographics
  • registry
  • scooters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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