The Natural Fit Handrim: Evaluation of Alternative Size Options

Annmarie R. Kelleher, MS, OTR/L, ATP 1-2; Michelle L. Tolerico, MS 1-3; Shirley G. Fitzgerald, PhD 1-2; Emily E. Teodorski, BS1-2; Michael L. Boninger, MD1-3; David S. Boninger, PhD4
Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh 1
Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System 2
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh3
Three Rivers Holding, LLC4


The specific aim of this project is to conduct focus groups to obtain end-user feedback to evaluate the size options offered for the oval component of the Natural-Fit (NF) Handrim among adults with normal hand function. Five manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury/dysfunction had the opportunity to trial both the standard and mini NF handrims, in addition to a standard handrim. Feedback was obtained through a questionnaire and group discussion. In addition, anthropometric measurements of the hand were collected. All participants rated both NF handrims favorably in comparison to the standard handrim. It was reported by participants that they preferred one NF size over another based on their own hand size. However, comparing the anthropometric data to the questionnaire responses was inconclusive. It is clear that different sizes of the NF are necessary to accommodate individual preferences.


Wheelchair Handrims, Repetitive Strain Injury, Manual Wheelchairs


Funding for this research was provided by a Phase II National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovative Research Grant (#R44 HD39962-02A1).


Annmarie Kelleher, MS, OTR/L, ATP
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
7180 Highland Drive, 151R1-H
Pittsburgh, PA 15206


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