Effectiveness of Wheeled Mobility and Seating by Telerehabilitation and In-Person

Richard M. Schein, MS1 , Mark Schmeler, PhD, OTR/L, ATP1 , David Brienza, PhD1 , and Andi Saptono, MS2

1 Department of Rehab. Sciences & Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
2 Department of Health Information Management, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261


A critical aspect of enhancing independence of people with mobility impairments is access to assistive technology (AT) such as manual/power wheelchairs and scooters. This is especially true of individuals living in underserved areas where the biggest barrier is lack of professional expertise and facilities. Telerehabilitation has created a way to connect and afford opportunities to communicate and assist with evaluating individuals in terms of function who benefit from proper AT provision. The objective of this study is to investigate seating and wheeled mobility evaluations via two methods, in-person and telerehabilitation. The Functioning Everyday with a Wheelchair (FEW) measurement outcome tool is used to measure the effectiveness. The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telerehabilitation has assisted remote hospitals set-up wheelchair clinics modeled after the Center for Assistive Technology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to support this research project. Data collection is in progress and preliminary findings will be reported based on pre-post measures of the ten specific related FEW tasks, average FEW total scores, and relative change percentage.


telerehabilitation; assistive technology; communications technology; service delivery


This research was supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, United States Department of Education (Grant H133E040012) at the University of Pittsburgh, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Telerehabilitation.


Richard M. Schein, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, 2310 Jane St, Ste 1300, Pittsburgh, PA 15203, rms35@pitt.edu 412-586-6905