The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationships between spinal cord injury (SCI), wheelchair users' satisfaction, perceptions of their community participation and quality of life (QoL).Thirty-one community wheelchair users with SCI were administered the Chinese version of the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with assistive Technology (C-QUEST), the abbreviated Hong Kong version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire (WHO QoL-BREF (HK)) and selected items of 'Participation Restrictions' and 'Environmental Factors' of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF). Only a weak correlation was found between the C-QUEST services sub-scores and one ICF environmental factor, that is, health-related professionals (Spearman's r = 0.453; p < 0.05). The C-QUEST device sub-scores were also weakly correlated with four domain scores of the WHO QoL-BREF (HK) (Spearman's r = 0.412-0.567; p < 0.05). Social relationship, participation in leisure and driving activities had a moderate association with scores of the WHO QoL-BREF (HK) (-0.405 > Spearman's r > -0.583; p < 0.05). It is concluded that community participation (e.g. use of transportation) and human environment (e.g. friends and peers) were more related to QoL, than to users' satisfaction with a wheelchair. Further research with a larger sample is recommended to examine the variables related to SCI and QoL. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.