The African Disability Scooter: preliminary analysis of a new mobility aid.
McCahill J., Stebbins J., Bates J., Batchelor A., Church J., Lavy C.
PURPOSE: In many resource poor African countries there is no effective prosthetic service. The African Disability Scooter (ADS) was developed for use by amputees in such countries, as a positive alternative to crutches or sticks. The aim of this study was to compare the energy expenditure of the ADS to walking with crutches over a fixed distance at a self-selected speed in a normal population. METHOD: Speed and efficiency of the scooter were assessed by field tests with 10 volunteers using a portable, energy consumption measuring device. In addition, the comfort of the scooter was assessed with visual analogue scales. RESULTS: It was found that the scooter was twice as efficient, and twice as fast as crutches over level ground. The scooter was also rated highly on comfort and usability scores, although some suggested refinements are likely to improve this further. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the ADS is a potentially useful method of transport by people with amputations or a wide spectrum of unilateral lower limb disabilities in developed and developing countries.