Various-shaped joysticks steer electric-powered wheelchairs (EPWs); however, an operability evaluation has not been fully conducted. This study evaluated the subjective and objective operability of various-shaped joysticks in 22 younger and 22 older adults. Participants operated an EPW on an experimental course using nine different-shaped joysticks, before ranking each joystick by their operability (1 = best, 9 = worst) as a primary outcome. Movement time (MT) and driving accuracy (DA) were also measured. Despite no significant differences in the primary outcome between joysticks, the I-shaped joystick with rounded tips (neutral grip) was ranked higher than the others. MT did not differ between joysticks, but DA was higher for the thin-columnar I-shaped joystick (pinch grip) than for the U- and T-shaped joysticks (pronated grip). MT and DA scores for young adults were significantly better than those for older adults. Further studies should be conducted to clarify possible factors related to EPW operability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Engineering (miscellaneous)