Patterns in wheeled mobility skills training, equipment evaluation, and utilization: Findings from the SCIRehab project

Sally Taylor*, Julie Gassaway, Lauren A. Heisler-Varriale, Allan Kozlowski, Laura Teeter, Jacqueline Labarbera, Carolyn Vargas, Audrey Natale, Alison Swirsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) participate in manual and power wheelchair (WC) skills training during inpatient rehabilitation; wheeled mobility evaluations aim to optimize use, fit, and function of equipment following discharge. Occupational and physical therapists documented treatment sessions during inpatient rehabilitation to describe types and quantity of WC skills training and adaptive equipment (AE) provided by neurological level of injury. Most patients participated in WC skills training; variation in type and frequency exists. Propulsion/driving skills were practiced most frequently. A majority of patients participated in equipment evaluations; assessment/prescription and fitting were performed frequently; mat evaluations were done infrequently. Most patients received mobility equipment in a timely manner; they continued to use their WC and were satisfied with its fit and function at the one-year injury anniversary. High levels of respondent satisfaction with fit and function of WCs suggest clinicians are prescribing mobility devices adequately and accurately supplementing information obtained during equipment assessment and fitting sessions with information from general treatment sessions. Variation in type and frequency of WC training provided by level of SCI and in types of WC prescribed use provides a foundation for future research to relate treatment modalities with functional and participation outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalAssistive Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015


  • equipment evaluation
  • manual wheelchair
  • occupational therapy
  • paraplegia
  • physical therapy
  • power wheelchair
  • rehabilitation research
  • spinal cord injury
  • tetraplegia
  • wheeled mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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