Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Development of custom measurement system for biomechanical evaluation of independent wheelchair transfers

Alicia M. Koontz, PhD, RET, et al.

Figure 1. Wheelchair and bench shown secured to aluminum mounting plates of base frame: (a) schematic and (b) photographs of actual setup. Custom inter-face consists of load cell and beam of varying heights that can be positioned anywhere along base frame. Seven motion cameras surrounded base frame. Note that kinetic results were presented in laboratory coordinate system, while kinematic results were reported according to International Society of Biomechanics recommendations (left arm, positive x points anteriorly, positive y points superiorly, and positive z points medially).

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

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No. 8
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Koontz AM, Lin YS, Kankipati P, Boninger ML, Cooper RA. Development of custom measurement system for biomechanical evaluation of independent wheelchair transfers. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(8):1015-28.

Last Reviewed or Updated  Friday, October 14, 2011 9:35 AM

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