Relationship between wheelchair skills scores and peak aerobic exercise capacity of manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury: a cross-sectional study

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: Although both wheelchair skills and fitness are important and probably inter-related, the extent and nature of the relationship between them are not well understood. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that there are significant relationships between wheelchair skills scores and the peak exercise capacity of community-dwelling manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. Materials and methods: We studied 26 participants, recording Wheelchair Skills Test Questionnaire scores and peak power output from graded aerobic wheelchair exercise testing on a motorized treadmill. Results: The median Wheelchair Skills Test Questionnaire capacity, confidence, and performance scores were 83.3%, 81.5%, and 76.7% and the median peak power output was 58.2 W. On regression analysis, there were significant relationships between the total Wheelchair Skills Test Questionnaire capacity, confidence, and performance scores and peak power output (R2 0.270–0.709, odds ratios 1.043–1.150, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Significant relationships exist between the wheelchair skills capacity, confidence, and performance scores and the peak exercise capacity of community-dwelling manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. These findings suggest that both wheelchair skills training and exercise training may be useful during the rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injury.Implications for rehabilitation Moderate positive relationships exist between wheelchair skills capacity and the peak exercise capacity of community-dwelling manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. Moderate positive relationships exist between wheelchair skills confidence and the peak exercise capacity of community-dwelling manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. Although further research is needed, these findings suggest that clinicians should address both wheelchair skills training and exercise training during the rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injury and not assume that either alone is sufficient.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kirby RL; de Groot S; Cowan RE
  • Start Page

  • 114
  • End Page

  • 121
  • Volume

  • 42
  • Issue

  • 1