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Which grab bar do you prefer in the bathroom?

Ernesto Morales (Department of Rehabilitation, Faculté de Médecine, Universite Laval, Québec, Canada) (Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale, Institut de Réadaptation en Déficience Physique de Québec, Québec, Canada)
Marc-Antoine Pilon (School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada)
Olivier Doyle (Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale, Institut de Réadaptation en Déficience Physique de Québec, Québec, Canada)
Véronique Gauthier (Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale, Institut de Réadaptation en Déficience Physique de Québec, Québec, Canada) (School of Social Work, Université Laval, Québec, Canada)
Stéphanie Gamache (Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Québec, Canada) (Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale, Institut de Réadaptation en Déficience Physique de Québec, Québec, Canada)
François Routhier (Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Québec, Canada) (Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale, Institut de Réadaptation en Déficience Physique de Québec, Québec, Canada)
Jacqueline Rousseau (School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada) (Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, Canada)

Journal of Enabling Technologies

ISSN: 2398-6263

Article publication date: 18 December 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to verify whether the horizontal grab bar for the toilet and the bathtub suggested by the Code du bâtiment du Québec conform to users’ preferences. Perceived effort, comfort and safety were considered.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 31 adults and seniors using manual and powered wheelchairs were asked to test different grab bar configurations for both the toilet and bathtub. A questionnaire was designed to evaluate participants’ perceptions and preferences after the trials with each grab bar. Effort was measured using the ten-level Borg scale, while participants’ comfort and safety were assessed with a five-point Likert scale. Participants were finally invited to express an overall personal preference between the two grab bar used in each setup.

Findings

Participants showed preference for an L-shaped grab bar for the toilet, and a horizontal grab bar for the bathtub. The authors’ results differ from the recommendations of the barrier-free design standards of the province of Quebec’s construction code, which states that horizontal grab bars should be used for the toilet and bathtub.

Originality/value

This study suggest that despite the limited sample, there is an undeniable need for testing norms for public spaces, whenever is possible and has a direct effect on end-users, before publishing them.

Keywords

Citation

Morales, E., Pilon, M.-A., Doyle, O., Gauthier, V., Gamache, S., Routhier, F. and Rousseau, J. (2017), "Which grab bar do you prefer in the bathroom?", Journal of Enabling Technologies, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 123-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/JET-03-2017-0012

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited