• Article

Investigation of factors associated with manual wheelchair mobility in persons with spinal cord injury

OBJECTIVE: To quantify wheelchair mobility of persons with a spinal cord injury (SCI), and to assess the relationship between wheelchair mobility and demographics, type of manual wheelchair, and participation.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Six Model Spinal Cord Injury Systems.

PARTICIPANTS: People (N=132) with SCI who use a manual wheelchair as their primary means of mobility.

INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Wheelchair-related mobility characteristics measured by a data-logging device, and community participation measured by the short form of the Craig Handicap Assessment Recording Technique (CHART).

RESULTS: Age was found to be significantly (r=-.225, P<.01) related to average speed traveled per day. Whites were found to travel significantly further (P<.01) and accumulate more minutes per day (P<.01) compared with minorities. Participants who were employed traveled significantly further (P<.01), faster (P<.01), and for more minutes per day (P<.01) compared with those who were not employed. A moderate relationship (r=.245-.390) was found between wheelchair mobility data and CHART total score.

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest a need for future investigation of the factors that influence wheelchair mobility and community participation of persons with SCI. Findings indicate the efficacy of a quantitative method to track wheelchair mobility in community settings, which could serve as a way of identifying community participation for persons with SCI and possibly uncovering additional aspects of participation.

Citation

Oyster, M. L., Karmarkar, A. M., Patrick, M., Read, M. S., Nicolini, L., & Boninger, M. L. (2011). Investigation of factors associated with manual wheelchair mobility in persons with spinal cord injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92(3), 484-490. DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.09.025