Prone carts are used for mobility by individuals with spinal cord injury in whom seated mobility (wheelchair) is contraindicated due to ischial or sacral pressure ulcers. Currently available prone carts are uncomfortable, subjecting the user to neck and shoulder strain, and make social interaction and performing activities of daily living difficult. A better design of prone carts is needed. In addition, standing devices have shown some medical benefits. The objective was to design and evaluate an improved prone cart that facilitates standing.
Engineering development project with user feedback through questionnaire. Users selected by convenience sampling.
A marketing survey was performed of nurse managers of spinal cord injury units. Then 2 prototype carts were designed and built. These carts are able to tilt up to 45° and have a joystick-controlled motor for propulsion and other design features, including a workspace storage shelf and rearview mirrors. The carts were evaluated by both patients and caregivers at 2 Veteran's Administration hospitals.
Questionnaire of subjects, both patients and caregivers, who used the cart.
Both patients and caregivers liked the carts and the ability to assume a nonhorizontal body angle. The major complaint about the cart was that it seemed too long when it came to making turns.
This prone cart design is an improvement over the standard, flat variety. However, further design changes will be necessary. This study provided valuable information that will be useful in the next-generation prone cart design project.