RESNA releases update on Tilt, Recline and Elevating Legrests position paper

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 1:45pm
RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America, has released an update of its original 2010 position paper entitled: “The Application of Tilt, Recline, and Elevating Legrests Literature Update.” The purpose of the paper is to document the current state of literature and research in order to assist practitioners in supporting the appropriate application of these features. All of RESNA’s position papers are reviewed every five years, in order to keep pace with changing technology, research, and clinical best practice. 
RESNA’s position is that these features are often medically necessary, as they enable certain individuals to realign posture and enhance function, improve physiological processes such as respiration, bowel and bladder function, redistribute and relieve pressure, and manage edema, to mention just a few of the many medical benefits. Special precautions must be used during the utilizing of these features in order to reduce the risk of injury, which is why a licensed medical professional (such as a physical or occupational therapist), preferably with a specialty certification, must be involved in the assessment, prescription, trials and training of the equipment. The paper is available for free download on the RESNA website. 
“Since the original publication in 2010, there’s been additional scientific evidence for various functional uses for tilt, recline and elevating legrests,” said lead author Brad Dicianno, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. “For example, additional evidence is presented for specific uses of tilt and recline angles for pressure relief.”
RESNA regularly publishes position papers and guides on assistive technology, using a rigorous developmental and review process. Besides “The Application of Tilt, Recline, and Elevating Legrests for Wheelchairs” other position papers and resources available on the website for free include:
  • The Application of Pediatric Power
  • The Application of Seat Elevating Devices
  • The Application of Wheelchair Standing Devices
  • The Application of Ultralight Manual Wheelchairs 
  • Wheelchairs Used as Seats in Motor Vehicles
  • The Application of Wheelchairs, Seating Systems, and Secondary Supports for Positioning vs. Restraint
  • Position Paper on the Use of Evacuation Chairs 
  • Wheelchair Service Provision Guide
In addition to DiCianno, the other authors are Jenny Lieberman, MSOTR/L, ATP of Mount Sinai Hospital, New York; Mark Schmeler, PhD, OTR/L, ATP of the University of Pittsburgh; Ana Elisa Schuler P. Souza, PhD, PT of Recife-PE, Brazil; Rosemarie Cooper, MPT, ATP of the University of Pittsburgh; Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS of Access to Independence, Arvada, Colorado; Hsinyi Liu, PhD, PT of University of Pittsburgh; Yih-Kuen Jan, PhD, PT of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 
The paper is available at