Could mobilty performance measures be used to evaluate wheelchair skills?
Didier Pradon, Nicolas Pinsault, Raphaël Zory, François Routhier
Objective: To determine the relationship between mobility performance measures and Wheelchair Skill Test (WST) scores and to establish the test-retest and inter-rater reliability of these measures.
Methods: Forty patients with spinal cord injury participated in this study. Subjects performed the Wheelchair Skill Test and mobility performance tests: maximal velocity (Vmax), spontaneous velocity (Vspont) and a 10-m back and forth slalom (Stime). Eighteen patients with spinal cord injury participated in a second testing session to evaluate test-retest reliability and, among these patients, 8 participated in a third testing session to evaluate inter-rater reliability.
Results: Spearman’s correlation coefficients calculated between WST and Vmax, Vspont and Stime were high and significant (p < 0.05). The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC (2.1)) evaluating test-retest reliability for Vmax, Vspont and Stime were 0.94, 0.84 and 0.88, respectively. The ICC evaluating inter-rater reliability for Vmax, Vspont and Stime were 0.92, 0.92 and 0.95, respectively. Reliability results were confirmed by Bland-Altman plots.
Conclusion: Vmax and Stime could be used to evaluate wheelchair skills and to create a new scale, whereas Vspont is the least appropriate of these measurements to describe wheelchair skills.
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