RESNA Annual Conference - 2012

Construct Validity of the Wheelchair Propulsion Test: Propulsion Over Carpet vs Tile Surfaces

Sussan Askari, Jonathan O’Neill, R. Lee Kirby

Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


To assess the construct validity of the Wheelchair Propulsion Test (WPT), we hypothesized that the WPT- derived measures (push frequency, speed, and push effectiveness) would be significantly better on a smooth tile surface than a carpeted surface. We studied 13 manual wheelchair users, administering the WPT on each surface. The values were higher on the tile surface with mean differences of 0.25 cycles/s for push frequency (p = 0.041), and 0.22 m/cycle for push effectiveness (p = 0.001). Most participants reported that the carpet provided more of a challenge. The results corroborated our hypotheses for speed and push effectiveness, providing support of the construct validity of the WPT.