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Toro Hernandez, Maria Luisa (2016) DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, AND DISSEMINATION OF A WHEELCHAIR MAINTENANCE TRAINING PROGRAM. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Wheelchair breakdowns are one cause of users being injured or stranded, and the incidence of these breakdowns is increasing. Evidence suggests that wheelchair users who routinely maintain their wheelchairs are less likely to be injured. Unfortunately, no structured program exists to promote maintenance, and thus the goal of this dissertation was to develop and evaluate a wheelchair maintenance training program (WMTP). In the US, 62% (n=616) of wheelchair users with spinal cord injury reported needing ≥1 repairs within a six month period, 27.4% experience an adverse consequence, 7.1% did not complete the repairs, and most repairs were completed by a vendor for power wheelchairs and by users themselves for manual wheelchairs. In Indonesia, at a 6-month follow up after receiving a new wheelchair, 34% of participants (n=142) self-reported needing ≥1 repairs. The majority (70%) reported not completing the repairs; also most of the repairs that were completed were done by the user/caregiver. Suggesting that regardless of context/population it is common that repairs are not completed, potentially due to lack of wheelchair maintenance training. The WMTP was designed to educate clinicians to train wheelchair users to perform maintenance. The Wheelchair Maintenance Training Questionnaire (WMT-Q) was developed to assess the impact of the WMTP and reached acceptable test-retest reliability for clinicians (ICC(3,1)>0.498), manual (ICC(3,1)>0.578), and power wheelchair users (ICC(3,1)>0.506). The Wheelchair Maintenance Assessment Tool (W-MAT) was developed to objectively assess maintenance state and reached an intra and interrater reliability for the manual and power W-MATs were ICC(3,1)<0.89 and ICC(2,1)<0.96 and ICC(3,1)< 0.95 and ICC(2,1)<0.93 respectively. Fifteen clinicians received WMTP training resulting in a significant increase in WMT-Q. Preliminary results of power wheelchair users (n=24) randomly assigned to a waitlist control and a training group suggest that the WMTP increased maintenance knowledge and performance. Last, the manual wheelchair content of the WMTP, W-MAT, and WMT-Q were translated to Spanish and the clinicians training adapted online. Forty professionals in Mexico participated and positively evaluated the program. Main contributions of this work include the WMTP, W-MATs, and WMT-Qs, their Spanish translation, and the further understanding on wheelchair repairs.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Toro Hernandez, Maria Luisamlt47@pitt.eduMLT47
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPearlman, Jonathan Leejlp46@pitt.eduJLP46
Committee MemberCooper, Rory Arcooper@pitt.eduRCOOPER
Committee MemberBoninger, Michael Lboninger@upmc.eduBONINGER
Committee MemberKirby, R
Date: 15 January 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 November 2015
Approval Date: 15 January 2016
Submission Date: 2 November 2015
Access Restriction: 3 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 3 years.
Number of Pages: 342
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wheelchair; maintenance; clinicians training; wheelchair users training; Spanish translation; wheelchair repair; spinal cord injury
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 21:06
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2019 06:15


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