Specialist seating provision – Is Assessment Important?

Short answer: Yes. Very.

The key to successful specialist seating provision is a comprehensive assessment. Due to the variability among people, a universal seating position is not practicable or safe; therefore, a thorough assessment is recommended to ensure the chair prescribed is tailored to the individual.

The assessment process will ideally consist of two parts:

  1. Clinical assessment
  2. Seating assessment

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of a clinician’s input in equipment provision. The clinician has the skills needed to determine key pieces of information about their client via a clinical assessment:

  • Is their posture correctable?
  • Can they achieve the critical angles needed for optimum seated positioning?
  • What support do they require to maintain an upright posture?
  • Do they have a history of, or do they currently present with, pressure injuries?
  • How must the chair holistically fit in to their daily life?

It is important that a clinician ascertains the above information prior to arranging a seating assessment as the chairs to be trialled will be dependent on the information gathered.

For example: Whether or not a person’s posture is correctable will hint towards their complexity. The more complex the user the more complex the chair. If the user is unable to achieve the critical angles needed for sitting then additional functions may be indicated, such as back angle recline or a negative angle leg rest. If the user requires support to maintain an erect spinal posture then accessories, such as lateral support, may be required. If the user is at risk of pressure injuries then pressure redistribution will form a key part of the assessment, and a chair with tilt-in-space may need to be trialled. With this information, the seating assessor can decide on the best chairs to trial as part of the joint seating assessment with the clinician.

The seating assessment with the chair provider will establish the following:

  • What the chair will be used for and for how long
  • Whether there is appropriate access and manoeuverability around the home
  • Whether the user will be using the chair independently or whether they require supervision or support
  • How the chair will integrate with the user’s environment and other equipment

CareFlex’s sales team consists of highly experienced seating assessors with a wealth of knowledge. They are experts in specialist seating; it must not be forgotten however that the clinicians are experts in clients. Both roles vary significantly but rely on the other for the chair provision to be a success.

If you are a clinician, keep an eye out for our follow-up article that will detail the subjective and objective clinical assessment in relation to specialist seating.

You can read more on the CareFlex seating assessment and related frequently asked questions here.

Please get in touch to book a free no-obligation seating assessment. Please be prepared to answer a series of short questions so that we can fully understand your needs; information from a completed clinical assessment will help us further narrow down the chairs that would be beneficial to trial.