Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 52 Number 2, 2015
   Pages 201 — 210

Abstract — Development and initial validation of the Seated Posture Scale

Lelia Barks, PhD, ARNP;1* Stephen L. Luther, PhD;1 Lisa M. Brown, PhD, ABPP;1–2 Brian Schulz, PhD;2 Mary Elizabeth Bowen, PhD;1,3 Gail Powell-Cope, PhD, ARNP1

1Center of Innovation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Tampa, FL; and Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Washington, DC; 2School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; 3Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA; and Center West Chester University, West Chester, PA

Abstract — Literature shows that some health outcomes (e.g., eating, breathing, and speaking) are directly related to posture. Evidence of outcomes mediated by wheelchair seated posture is limited to interface pressure, physical function, and wheelchair skills and safety. This study’s purpose was to develop and validate a rapid, low-burden, paper-pencil assessment of wheelchair seated posture for research use and to test feasibility of its use with a sample of older adults. We used a prospective design and a convenience sample of older adults who were receiving rehabilitation services in a community living center. Forty-nine older wheelchair users participated. Main measures were the Seated Posture Scale (SPS), Modified Ashworth Scale, Barthel Index, Visual Descriptor Scale, scale-content validity index (S-CVI), Cronbach alpha, and test-retest reliability. Rating by six experts yielded the overall content validity score (S-CVI) of 0.744. Total SPS score correlated positively with physical function (Barthel Index, r = 0.46, p < 0.001) and negatively with muscle tone (Modified Ashworth Scale, r = –0.44, p = 0.001), supporting SPS construct validity. Internal consistency was 0.66 (Cronbach alpha). Test-retest reliability yielded Pearson product-moment correlations of 0.89 to 0.99. We conclude that the SPS has sufficient preliminary validity and reliability to support its use as an evaluation of wheelchair seated posture in outcomes research.

Key words: elder, geriatric, long-term care, posture, reliability, seat, SPS, validity, Veteran, wheelchair.

View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 52, No.2

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Barks L, Luther SL, Brown LM, Schulz B, Bowen ME, Powell-Cope G. Development and initial validation of the Seated Posture Scale. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(2): 201–10.

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