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Effect of a pushrim-activated power-assist wheelchair on the functional capabilities of persons with tetraplegia

Algood, SD and Cooper, RA and Fitzgerald, SG and Cooper, R and Boninger, ML (2005) Effect of a pushrim-activated power-assist wheelchair on the functional capabilities of persons with tetraplegia. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 86 (3). 380 - 386. ISSN 0003-9993

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Objectives: To test the differences between a pushrim-activated power-assisted wheelchair (PAPAW) and a traditional manual wheelchair while performing common driving activities and to assess their relative merits for people with tetraplegia. Design: Repeated measures. Setting: An activities of daily living (ADL) laboratory within a rehabilitation research center. Participants: Fifteen full-time manual wheelchair users with tetraplegia due to a spinal cord injury. Interventions: Participants propelled both their own manual wheelchairs and a PAPAW 3 times over an ADL course. The order in which the 2 different wheelchairs were presented to the participants was randomized. Main Outcome Measures: Each participant's heart rate was monitored throughout testing by a digital, wireless heart-rate monitor. Time to complete the course was recorded, and participants were surveyed with a visual analog scale after the first, third, fourth, and sixth trials to determine the ease of completing each obstacle and their ergonomic preferences between the 2 wheelchairs. Participants also were observed throughout the trials to determine how much assistance they needed to complete each obstacle course. Results: After using a Bonferroni adjustment, 4 obstacles (carpet, dimple strips, up a ramp, up a curb cut) were rated as being significantly easier (P<.001) to complete when using the PAPAW. Participants also showed a significant decrease in mean heart rate throughout all 3 trials (P=.015, P=.001, P=.003, respectively) when using a PAPAW. The amount of assistance needed by participants, the responses to ergonomic questions, and the overall time to complete the ADL course did not differ significantly between the 2 wheelchairs. Conclusions: For subjects with tetraplegia, PAPAWs have the potential to improve functional capabilities during certain ADLs, especially when propelling up ramps, over uneven surfaces, and over thick carpet. © 2005 by American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Algood, SD
Fitzgerald, SG
Cooper, Rcooperrm@pitt.eduCOOPERRM
Boninger, MLboninger@pitt.eduBONINGER
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Date: 1 January 2005
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume: 86
Number: 3
Page Range: 380 - 386
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.apmr.2004.05.017
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0003-9993
MeSH Headings: Activities of Daily Living; Adult; Equipment Design; Female; Heart Rate; Human Engineering; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Patient Satisfaction; Quadriplegia--etiology; Quadriplegia--rehabilitation; Spinal Cord Injuries--complications; Wheelchairs
PubMed ID: 15759215
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 20:31
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 03:55


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