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Registry of Systematic Reviews - Search Results

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1. Citation: Kilkens, O. J., Post, M. W., Dallmeijer, A. J., Seelen, H. A., & van der Woude, L. H. (2003). Wheelchair skills tests: A systematic review. Clinical Rehabilitation, 17(4), 418-430.
Keywords: manual wheelchair skills, observational tests, wheelchair skill performance, task performance, physical strain

Background: Sufficient wheelchair skills are critical for people with physical disabilities to achieve their rehabilitation goals and independence in daily life. In addition, assessment of wheelchair skills may be valuable in both a clinical setting (e.g., measuring one’s current wheelchair skills) and a research setting (e.g., assessing the effects of intervention for wheelchair mobility). However, no systematic review has been conducted on studies related to wheelchair skills.

Objectives: To conduct a systematic review of the literature on tests for wheelchair skills.

Search strategy: An electronic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, and Current Contents was conducted using various keywords such as “mobility” and “wheelchair” combined with “skills,” “measurement,” “ADS,” etc.

Selection criteria: The authors included observational tests that assessed wheelchair-assisted mobility skills, at the activity level, of individuals using hand-rim wheelchairs.

Data collection and analysis: The first author conducted the selection process. Collected tests were compared across selected variables such as skills used in the test, target population, feasibility, and test outcomes.

Main results: A total of 24 tests were found from the 34 articles. The authors identified the following frequently used wheelchair skills: wheelchair propulsion, transferring from and to the wheelchair, negotiating kerbs, ascending slopes, traversing tracks, sprinting, and performing a wheelie. The measures commonly employed to assess wheelchair skills included task completion time, independence in wheelchair skill performance, and physical strain. In addition, information on sensitivity to change, validity, and reliability of the tests was reported.

Conclusions: Comparing the results of the studies was difficult due to many different wheelchair skill tests. Thus, currently no standardized measure is available for wheelchair skill performance. Standardization of the skills to be tested and evaluation measures are needed to compare study results.

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Record Updated:2016-08-04

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