Our objective was to test the hypothesis that, in comparison with participants using manual wheelchairs equipped with conventional rear anti-tip devices (C-RADs), wheelchair users using a new design (Arc-RADs, so-named because the RAD arm deploys through an arc) perform RAD-relevant wheelchair skills better and as safely. In this randomized, controlled study, we studied 14 wheelchair users. Participants were provided with wheelchair skills training. For the Control and Arc-RAD groups, the mean (±1SD) subtotal percentage RAD-relevant scores from the Wheelchair Skills Test (WST version 3.2), administered a minimum of 3 days after training, were 27.5% (±8.7%) and 66.1% (±20.7%) respectively (p = 0.017). There were no serious adverse effects in either group. The Arc-RAD design allows better performance on RAD-relevant wheelchair skills than the C-RAD design, without compromising safety. The new design has the potential to improve the mobility and participation of manual wheelchair users.
rehabilitation, wheelchair, rear anti-tip device, Wheelchair Skills Test
Dr. R. Lee Kirby, Dalhousie University, Room 206, Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre, 1341 Summer Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4K4. Email: Kirby@dal.ca
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