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March 8, 1958


Author Affiliations

1904 R St., N. W. Washington, D. C.

JAMA. 1958;166(10):1241. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990100129021

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To the Editor:—  The editorial on the wheel chair appearing in the Jan. 25, 1958, issue of The Journal, page 375, is a timely reminder that techniques and technical devices work better if the individual needs of individual patients are taken into account. As is stated, the patient requiring a wheel chair "will get the best wheel chair for his needs only if his physician takes the time to evaluate those needs."Although the emphasis of the editorial was on the physical needs of the patient, his emotional needs are also of great importance and indeed may be crucial in determining the success or failure of his adaptation. In our striving, competitive culture, the wheel chair is a powerful symbol of dependency, often viewed by the disabled person with partly unconscious ambivalent feelings, the conscious component of which may be a rejection of the whole idea. A patient with this

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