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Algood, Stephen David (2003) THE IMPACT OF A PUSHRIM ACTIVATED POWER ASSIST WHEELCHAIR AMONG INDIVIDUALS WITH TETRAPLEGIA. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The goal of this project was to test the influence of a pushrim activated power-assisted wheelchair (PAPAW) on the functional capabilities of individuals with cervical level spinal cord injuries (tetraplegia). This repeated measures design type study was divided into two phases, which included testing in two different laboratory settings: a biomechanics laboratory and an activities of daily living laboratory. Fifteen participants included in both phases were fulltime manual wheelchair users (MWUs) with tetraplegia. The purpose of the first phase of the study was to determine the differences in metabolic demands, stroke frequency, and upper extremity joint range of motion, during PAPAW propulsion and traditional manual wheelchair propulsion. Participants propelled both their own manual wheelchairs and a PAPAW through three different resistances (slight, moderate and high), on a computer controlled wheelchair dynamometer. Variables analyzed during this phase included: mean steady state oxygen consumption, ventilation, heart rate, mean stroke frequency, maximum upper extremity joint range of motion, and propulsion speed. Results from the first phase of the study revealed a significant improvement in kinematic, speed, and metabolic variables when participants were propelling with a PAPAW. In Phase II, participants propelled both their own manual wheelchairs and a PAPAW three times over an activities of daily living course. The course was constructed to reflect certain obstacles that a manual wheelchair user might encounter in his or her daily routine. PAPAWs received higher user ratings than the participant's own manual wheelchair for 10 out of 18 obstacles. Additionally, when using a PAPAW, participants were able to complete the course in the same amount of time while maintaining a lower mean heart rate. For individuals with tetraplegia, PAPAWs have the potential to decrease metabolic demands during propulsion, while increasing or maintaining function within ADLs. Use of this device could help MWUs maintain overall physical capacity while reducing the risk for pain and injuries to the upper extremities, which are often seen among manual wheelchair users with tetraplegia. Future studies with this device should focus on the ability of MWUs with tetraplegia to perform necessary activities of daily living within their home environment and community.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Algood, Stephen Davidsda3@pitt.eduSDA3
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCooper, Rory Arcooper@pitt.eduRCOOPER
Committee MemberBoninger, Michael Lmlboning@pitt.eduMLBONING
Committee MemberFitzgerald, Shirley Gsgf9@pitt.eduSGF9
Date: 5 December 2003
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 25 November 2003
Approval Date: 5 December 2003
Submission Date: 5 December 2003
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: activities of daily living; tetraplegia; wheelchairs
Other ID:, etd-12052003-151955
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:08
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:53


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