New Rear Anti-Tip Device for Manual Wheelchairs: Pilot Study Comparison with Tilt-in-Space Wheelchairs From the Perspective of Pressure Under the Ischial Tuberosities

Blair MacDonald, BS, R. Lee Kirby, MD, Cher Smith, BSc (OT), Donald A. MacLeod, MSc, Adam Webber, MSc


To test the hypothesis that, in comparison with a tilt-in-space (TIS) wheelchair, a manual wheelchair equipped with a new rear anti-tip device (Arc-RAD) provides equivalent reductions in seating pressures in the upright and tilted-back positions, we studied 8 able-bodied participants. Within-participant comparisons were used to analyze the mean sitting pressures, using a force-sensing array on top of the seat cushion, in both the upright position and tilted back to a comparable angle (38-39 degrees). There were no significant difference in the mean pressures between the two wheelchairs in the upright position (p=0.57) or when tilted back to a comparable angle (p=0.63). In both wheelchairs, the mean pressures in the fully-tilted-back positions were significantly lower (by 20-26%) than in the upright positions (p<0.01). A manual wheelchair with Arc-RADs provides a comparable reduction in seating pressures to a representative TIS wheelchair; this has implications for wheelchair design.


rehabilitation, wheelchair, ischial tuberosity pressure, sitting pressure


Blair MacDonald, c/o Dr. R. Lee Kirby
Dalhousie University, Room 206
Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre
1341 Summer Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3H 4K4.



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