Two approaches to manual wheelchair configuration and effects on function for individuals with acquired brain injury

This study determined whether manual wheelchair configuration impacts how well a person who has acquired brain injury (ABI) related hemiparesis performs functional tasks from his or her wheelchair. Nineteen patients with ABI resulting in hemiparesis undergoing inpatient rehabilitation (average of 75 days post-injury (+/- 29.2 days); age range, 21-64; 9 with mechanical brain injury, 10 with cerebral vascular accident) were recruited for the study. Participants in the study were placed in two different wheelchair configurations (position one and position two) and were randomised as to which position they were placed in first. All outcome measures were taken twice on each individual within each wheelchair configuration during two consecutive days. Timed Forward Wheeling (TFW), Modified Functional Reach test (MFR), Visual Analogue Scale for Comfort (VAS), transfer score from the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), measurement of popliteal fossa to front of cushion were analysed. The position two seating group’s TFW was significantly faster than the position one seating group at both time points. There were no significant differences in the MFR scores, VAS comfort scale scores, and FIM transfer score between the two groups. The authors concluded that a wheelchair configuration with no seat slope, solid backrest mounted at 95 degree (+/- 3 degrees) seat to back angle, and use of a solid seat insert with a flat foam cushion (position two) results in greater efficiency in foot propulsion for individuals with ABI than a wheelchair configuration with one inch of seat slope, solid backrest mounted at 105 degree (+/- 3 degrees) seat to back angle, and no solid seat insert with a gel/foam contoured cushion (position 1).

Authors: Regier AD, Berryman A, Hays K, Smith C, Staniszewski K, Gerber D. ;Full Source: NeuroRehabilitation. 2014 Sep 16. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]