Effect of Transition From Walking to a Wheelchair on Social Participation Among Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Toru Furui1,2, Michel L. Boninger1,2, Peter C. Hunt2, Shirley G. Fitzgerald1, Ian Rice1

1 Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Highland Drive VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
2Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between transition from walking to using a wheelchair and social participation among individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) who par ticipate in the National Model Spinal Cord Injury System. The main outcome measure used was the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique social integration subscale . We found that individuals making the transition from walking at discharge to using wheelchair at one year follow up (n= 5 8) were less socialized compared to those who used wheelchair at discharge (p= 0.009) . Overemphasizing walking as a goal for marginal ambulators in acute rehabilitation may have negative impact on social integration among individuals with SCI.


Spinal cord injury, Wheelchair, Transition, CHART, N M SCI S



Toru Furui, PhD, PT
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
151R-1, 7180 Highland Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Phone: 412-365-4843
e-mail: fut1@pitt.edu