This study (1) describes a new custom measurement system designed to investigate the biomechanics of sitting-pivot wheelchair transfers and (2) assesses the reliability of selected biomechanical variables. We examined the reliability of these measures between five consecutive transfer trials for 5 subjects with spinal cord injury and 12 unimpaired subjects while they performed a self-selected sitting pivot transfer from a wheelchair to a level bench. A majority of the biomechanical variables demonstrated moderate to excellent reliability (r > 0.6). The transfer measurement system produced reliable and valid biomechanical data for future studies of sitting-pivot wheelchair transfers. A minimum of five transfer trials are recommended to obtain a stable measure of transfer technique for future studies. Quantifying the mechanical demands of different types of wheelchair transfers will provide insight into the risk factors associated with the development of upper-limb pain and injury.
Volume 48 Number 8, 2011
Pages 1015 — 1028
Last Reviewed or Updated Friday, October 14, 2011 9:35 AM