Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 9, 2011
   Pages 1077 — 1086

Abstract —  Analyzing wheelchair mobility patterns of community-dwelling older adults

Amol M. Karmarkar, PhD, MS;1 Rory A. Cooper, PhD;2* Hongwu Wang, MS;2 Annmarie Kelleher, MS, OTR/L, ATP;2 Rosemarie Cooper, MPT, ATP2

1Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX; 2Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Department of Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA, and Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Abstract — This study determined and compared wheelchair mobility patterns for older adults during an organized sporting event and within their community. In July 2008, 39 veterans participating in the 28th National Veterans Wheelchair Games (Omaha, Nebraska) completed the study. Of these, 26 were manual wheelchair and 13 were power wheelchair users. We collected wheelchair-related mobility data using wheelchair data-logging devices. Participants were significantly more active using manual wheelchairs during the games than when using their wheelchairs in their homes in terms of distance traveled (4,466.2 vs 1,367.4 m, p < 0.001) and average speed of propulsion (0.76 vs 0.64 m/s, p < 0.001). The trend was the same for power wheelchair users, with respect to distance (7,306.2 vs 3,450.5 m, p = 0.004) and average speed (0.9 vs 0.7 m/s, p = 0.002). This study demonstrates an objective method of evaluating wheelchair use in community-dwelling older adults.

Key words: community participation, data logger, environment, manual wheelchair use, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, older adults, physical activity, power wheelchair use, wheelchair mobility, wheelchair provision.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No. 9
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Karmarkar AM, Cooper RA, Wang H, Kelleher A, Cooper R. Analyzing wheelchair mobility patterns of community-dwelling older adults. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(9): 1077-86.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2009.10.0177
ResearcherID: Amol M. Karmarkar, PhD, MS: E-6030-2011
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Last Reviewed or Updated  Monday, November 21, 2011 12:01 PM

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