The influence of verbal training and visual feedback on manual wheelchair propulsion

Keri K. Degroot, Holly H. Hollingsworth, Kerri A. Morgan, Carrie L. Morris, David B. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose.To determine if verbal training with visual feedback improved manual wheelchair propulsion; to examine propulsion differences between an individual with paraplegia and an individual with tetraplegia. Method.Quasi-experimental study: Nine manual wheelchair-using adults participated in propulsion assessments and training. Baseline propulsion performance was measured on several tasks on different surfaces. Participants were trained on a wheelchair treadmill with verbal and visual feedback to increase push length, reduce push frequency and to modify propulsion pattern. Handrim biomechanics were measured with an instrumented wheel. Changes in propulsion were assessed. Differences in propulsion characteristics between a participant with paraplegia and a participant with tetraplegia were examined. Results.Push length increased p < 0.05, push frequency decreased p < 0.01 and peak p < 0.05 and average p < 0.01 forces increased immediately after training. These changes were not sustained over time. Graphic representations showed differences in propulsion characteristics between a participant with paraplegia and a participant with tetraplegia. Conclusions.Verbal training may produce changes in push biomechanics of manual wheelchair users. Longer training periods may be needed to sustain propulsion changes. Findings from this study support other studies that have shown propulsion differences between people with tetraplegia and paraplegia. Propulsion training for populations with upper-extremity impairments warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2009

Keywords

  • Paraplegia
  • Propulsion
  • Tetraplegia
  • Training
  • Wheelchair

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