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Wheelchair skills training programme for children: A pilot study

By Bonita Sawatzky, Paula W. Rushton, Ian Denison and Rachael McDonald


Aim: Wheelchair skills are not typically provided when a child gets a new wheelchair. The purpose of this prospective pilot study was to determine the effectiveness of a two-day modified Wheelchair Skills Programme 3.2 for children. Methods: Six children (ages 6-19 years) with spinal cord injuries or spina bifida were invited to participate in a two-day wheelchair skills programme provided on subsequent Saturdays. Children were tested before and after training using a modified Wheelchair Skills Test 3.2. To assess for the effect of the programme on participation, the Activity Skills for Kids was used before and one month after training. For a more qualitative reflection, an Impact Questionnaire was given at four months post-training. Results: There was a significant (14%) increase in skills based on the Wheelchair Skills Test 3.2. No change in participation was measured with the Activity Skills for Kids. The Impact Questionnaire suggests the skill training allowed participants to do more, with less pain and fatigue post-training. Conclusions: A two-day wheelchair skills programme can potentially improve skill level in children with spinal cord injuries or spina bifida

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2011.00964.x
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