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Supplement Number 1
Volume 42 Number 3, May/June 2005 Supplement 1
Pages 1 — 8

Abstract - Prevalence of shoulder pain in adult- versus childhood-onset wheelchair users: A pilot study

Bonita J. Sawatzky, PhD;1-2*Gerard P. Slobogean, BSc;1 Christopher W. Reilly, MD;1-2 Christine T. Chambers, PhD;3 Adrienne T. Hol, BSc1

1Department of Orthopaedics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 2British
Columbia's Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 3Department of Psychology, Dalhousie
University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Abstract — Shoulder pain is a common overuse problem in long-term adult wheelchair users. The current study examined whether the prevalence of shoulder pain in adult wheelchair users who began using their wheelchairs during childhood (childhood-onset [CH-O] group) is similar to those who began using their wheelchairs as adults (adult-onset [AD-O] group). We compared 31 CH-O and 22 AD-O wheelchair users using the Wheelchair User's Shoulder Pain Index (WUSPI), an overall pain score (Brief Pain Inventory), and a lifestyle questionnaire to determine frequency and duration of physical activity. Shoulder pain (WUSPI) was greater in the AD-O wheelchair users compared with the CH-O group (p < 0.008), even though their general lifestyles were not different. The immature skeleton can possibly respond to the repetitive forces of wheeling better than that of those who begin using a wheelchair once their skeletal structure is completely developed.
Key words: adults, biomechanics, bone remodeling, pain, pain inventory, pediatrics, rehabilitation, shoulder pain, spina bifida, spinal cord injury, wheelchair.

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