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Development and Validation of the Wheelchair Seating Discomfort Assessment Tool (WcS-DAT).

Crane, Barbara Anne (2004) Development and Validation of the Wheelchair Seating Discomfort Assessment Tool (WcS-DAT). Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Wheelchair seating discomfort is an important but poorly understood negative outcome for long duration wheelchair users. A major impediment to the study of this problem is the lack of a validated tool for quantification of wheelchair seating discomfort. The goal of this dissertation research was to develop and validate an assessment tool appropriate for the quantification of wheelchair seating discomfort among long duration (more than 8 hours per day) wheelchair users. This was accomplished through the completion of three research phases, each described within the body of this dissertation. Phase I consisted of a qualitative research study involving in-depth interviews with experienced wheelchair users. Data from these interviews resulted in the development of the Wheelchair Seating Discomfort Assessment Tool (WcS-DAT), a three-part tool to allow wheelchair users to quantify their level of seating discomfort. Phase II of the research assessed the reliability and concurrent validity of this assessment tool through a test/re-test reliability study. Intra class correlation (ICC) coefficient scores ranged from 0.83 to 0.97, indicating adequate reliability of the two discomfort scores in the WcS-DAT. Internal item consistency, assessed using Cronbach's alpha, indicated that all items were consistent and not redundant, with scores ranging from 0.82 to 0.92. Pearson product-moment correlations were used to assess the concurrent validity of the WcS-DAT and all of these correlations were significant at a minimum of p less than 0.05, with many significant results at the 0.01 and 0.001 levels. These results indicated good concurrent validity of the WcS-DAT. In Phase III, the WcS-DAT was evaluated for its ability to show changes in discomfort over time and with the introduction of novel, user adjustable wheelchair seating. Both the General Discomfort Assessment score (GDA) and the Discomfort Intensity Score (DIS) were sensitive to changes in seating discomfort level and were adequate for use in detecting differences associated with changes in duration of sitting as well as those associated with use of different seating equipment. Results of this final phase indicated that the WcS-DAT is a useful tool for evaluation of wheelchair seating discomfort in a research or clinical environment.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Crane, Barbara
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCooper, Rory A.rcooper@pitt.eduRCOOPER
Committee MemberHobson, Douglas A.dhobson@pitt.eduDHOBSON
Committee MemberHolm, Margo B.mbholm@pitt.eduMBHOLM
Committee MemberReed, Matthew
Committee MemberStadelmeier,
Date: 20 January 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 14 January 2004
Approval Date: 20 January 2004
Submission Date: 18 January 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: disability; discomfort; seating discomfort; wheelchair; wheelchair seating
Other ID:, etd-01182004-145004
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:31
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:36


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