It’s been estimated that more than half of nursing home residents use wheelchairs as their primary means of mobility. But little research has examined wheelchair use within facility settings. A few studies have shown that nursing home residents experience a variety of wheelchair-related problems, such as wheelchair discomfort, immobility, poor posture, and dysfunctional wheelchairs. As well, rather than facilitating independence, wheelchairs may be used as restraints. William Mortenson is conducting a two-phase study on wheelchair use in nursing homes. In the first phase, Mortenson will explore the overall impact of wheelchairs and wheelchair seating on nursing home residents through interviews and observations. In the second phase, he will identify factors that predict wheelchair mobility and investigate the relationship between wheelchair use, activity participation and quality of life amongst nursing home residents. He has three goals for the study: to improve understanding of how the nursing home setting influences the availability of wheelchair equipment and impacts the use of wheelchairs; to improve opportunities for residents to access wheelchairs; to support lobbying for better funding for wheelchairs and wheelchair services. He also hopes his research will ultimately contribute to the health and quality of life of facility residents through the development of an intervention program, which could improve wheelchair-related institutional policies and practices for this increasing segment of the population.