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Manual wheelchair pushrim dynamics in people with multiple sclerosis

Fay, BT and Boninger, ML and Fitzgerald, SG and Souza, AL and Cooper, RA and Koontz, AM (2004) Manual wheelchair pushrim dynamics in people with multiple sclerosis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 85 (6). 935 - 942. ISSN 0003-9993

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Fay BT, Boninger ML, Fitzgerald SG, Souza AL, Cooper RA, Koontz AM. Manual wheelchair pushrim dynamics in people with multiple sclerosis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:935-42. Objectives To define differences in pushrim dynamics during manual wheelchair propulsion by users with multiple sclerosis (MS) relative to 2 control groups of subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI) and no disability (ND) and to investigate changes in propulsion biomechanics at different speeds and with fatigue. Design Case-control. Setting Biomechanics laboratory. Participants A convenience sample of 42 people, 8 women and 6 men per group. Interventions Not applicable. Main outcome measures The propulsion pattern, mean maximum speed, percentage of time in push and recovery phases, push angle, push frequency, mean maximum resultant pushrim force, mean work and push cycle, and hand-to-pushrim coupling and decoupling effects. Results The MS groups tended to use an arcing propulsion pattern more than did the control groups (Pmax=.003). The MS group pushed at a lower mean maximum velocity (v) when allowed to choose the speed of propulsion (vMS, .67±.20m/s; vSCI, 1.10±0.23m/s; P=.001), when asked to push at 1m/s (vMS, .91±.26m/s; vSCI, 1.12±0.11m/s; vND, 1.05±0.13m/s; P=.010), and were unable to maintain a self-selected speed during a 5-minute trial (Δv MS, .15±.02m/s; ΔvND, .03±.06m/s; P<.001). The MS group spent a higher proportion of time in the push phase of propulsion (Pmax=.001). In general, the MS group had smaller push angles, but push frequencies similar to the controls. Statistically adjusted MS group pushrim forces and work per push measures varied depending on context, but in all trials the MS group displayed a braking effect when grasping and releasing the pushrim. The MS group had declines in most measures when pushing at a self-selected speed for 5 minutes. In all trials, the MS group was more likely to display asymmetry between right and left sides in biomechanic parameters. Conclusions Manual wheelchair users with MS have difficulty grasping and releasing the pushrim and maintaining speed during a fatigue trial. This likely leads to a slow self-selected speed of propulsion that may not be functional. Clinicians should remember these results when prescribing manual wheelchairs for people with MS. © 2004 by the 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
Fay, BT
Boninger, MLboninger@pitt.eduBONINGER
Fitzgerald, SG
Souza, AL
Koontz, AMakoontz@pitt.eduAKOONTZ
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Date: 1 June 2004
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume: 85
Number: 6
Page Range: 935 - 942
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.apmr.2003.08.093
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0003-9993
MeSH Headings: Acceleration; Adult; Analysis of Variance; Biomechanics; Case-Control Studies; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Multiple Sclerosis--physiopathology; Muscle Fatigue--physiology; Task Performance and Analysis; Wheelchairs
PubMed ID: 15179647
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2012 14:06
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 13:55


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