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Investigation of the Mobility Characteristics and Activity Levels of Manual Wheelchair Users in Two Real World Environments

Tolerico, Michelle Lynn (2005) Investigation of the Mobility Characteristics and Activity Levels of Manual Wheelchair Users in Two Real World Environments. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The primary objective of this study was to collect descriptive data on the mobility characteristics and activity levels of manual wheelchair users in two different environments: at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) and in the subjects' residential setting. This was accomplished using a custom data logging device. A secondary objective was to identify demographic factors that might influence the mobility characteristics and activity levels of the wheelchair users in their home environment. Thirty nine subjects were recruited to participate in this study over a two year period. A data logging device was instrumented on each subject's wheelchair for a total of six days at the NVWG and an additional one or two weeks in the home environment, depending on year of enrollment. The participants were also asked to complete a brief demographic survey. It was found that subjects traveled significantly (P=0.000) further and were active for significantly (P=0.000) more hours during an average day at the NVWG compared to their residential setting. The subjects traveled on average 6566.84 ± 3203.90 meters and were active for an average 12.00 ± 3.56 hours per day at the NVWG. In their home environment, subjects traveled an average distance of 1994.09 ± 1851.20 meters and were active for 7.13 ± 4.85 hours per day. When comparing the speed traveled in the two environments, no significant differences were found. It was found that the activity levels of the subjects at the NVWG were significantly greater when compared to their home environment. Analysis of demographic factors revealed that subjects who used a wheelchair for more years were found to travel significantly further and accumulate more minutes of movement per day. Also, employment was found to be a demographic factor that influenced wheelchair usage in the home environment. The findings of this study provide a more objective measure of wheelchair usage patterns in two real world environments: one that facilitates participation in activities and one that contains barriers that the subjects need to overcome. The results also indicate that there are demographic factors that influence wheelchair usage patterns in the residential setting.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tolerico, Michelle Lynnmlt18@pitt.eduMLT18
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCooper, Rory Arcooper@pitt.eduRCOOPER
Committee MemberDing, Dandad5@pitt.eduDAD5
Committee MemberCooper, RosemarieCooperR@upmc.eduCOOPERRM
Committee MemberFitzgerald, Shirley Gsgf9@pitt.eduSGF9
Date: 12 December 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 29 November 2005
Approval Date: 12 December 2005
Submission Date: 9 December 2005
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: activity monitor; data logging device; manual wheelchair; usage
Other ID:, etd-12092005-104605
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:38


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