VA Research and Development LOGO

Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Supplement Number 1
Volume 42 Number 3, May/June 2005,
Pages 65 — 74


Abstract - Relationship between manual wheelchair skill performance and participation of persons with spinal cord injuries 1 year after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation

Olga J. E. Kilkens, PhD;1 Marcel W. M. Post, PhD;1-2* Annet J. Dallmeijer, PhD;3 Floris W. A. van Asbeck, MD, PhD;2 Lucas H. V. van der Woude, PhD4-5

1IRV Institute for Rehabilitation Research, Hoensbroek; 2Rehabilitation Center De Hoogstraat, Utrecht; 3Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdam; 4Institute for Fundamental and Clinical Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam; 5Rehabilitation Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Abstract — This cross-sectional study describes the level of manual wheelchair skill performance and participation of persons with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) 1 year after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation and tests the hypothesis that wheelchair skill performance is positively related to participation. Participants included 81 persons with SCI from eight rehabilitation centers in the Netherlands. The Wheelchair Circuit consists of eight wheelchair skills and results in three test scores: ability, performance time, and physical strain. Participation was assessed with the sum of the subscales Mobility Range and Social Behavior of the 68-Item Sickness Impact Profile (SIPSOC). SIPSOC was moderately related to the ability score (the Spearman rank correlation [rS] = -0.49), the performance time score (rS = 0.54), and the physical strain score (rS = 0.38). The regression analyses showed that, after controlling for lesion and personal characteristics, manual wheelchair skill performance is positively related to participation, with the strongest association for the performance time score. In persons with SCI who are manual wheelchair users, wheelchair skill performance is moderately associated to participation. Training of wheelchair skills has to be an important goal of rehabilitation, and persons should be stimulated to maintain their wheelchair skills after discharge from rehabilitation.
Key words: hand-rim wheelchair, lesion characteristics, participation, physical strain, rehabilitation, Sickness Impact Profile, sociodemographic variables, spinal cord injury, training, wheelchair skill.

 → go to Contents Page for Volume 42, No 1
 → go to HTML version of this article
 → go to PDF version of this article