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The influence of transfer quality and wheelchair type on fear of falling among full-time wheelchair users

  • Author Footnotes
    3 Current affiliation: Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
    Libak Abou
    Footnotes
    3 Current affiliation: Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
    Affiliations
    Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
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  • Laura A. Rice
    Correspondence
    Correspondence to: Laura A. Rice, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 219 Freer Hall 906 S Goodwin Ave Urbana, IL 61801, USA, Phone: (217) 333-4650
    Affiliations
    Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA

    Center for Health, Aging and Disability, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    3 Current affiliation: Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Published:September 22, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2022.09.002

      Highlights

      • Transfer quality and type of wheelchair influence fear of falling (FOF) among full-time wheelchair users.
      • Compared to manual wheelchair users, power wheelchair or scooter users with poor transfer quality present with higher levels of FOF.
      • Future research is warranted to develop interventions to reduce FOF among full-time wheelchair users.

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate the influence of transfer quality and demographics on fear of falling (FOF) among full-time wheelchair users.

      Design

      Secondary data analysis

      Setting

      University research laboratory and community, United Stated

      Participants

      Ninety-six individuals (96) living with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury who use a manual or power/scooter full-time, median age: 54.00 years (IQR 29.00), median duration of health condition: 19.50 years (IQR 23.00) were included. Fifty-two participants (54%) were manual wheelchair users.

      Interventions

      Not applicable

      Main outcome measures

      Demographics information included age, sex, duration of health condition, height, weight, BMI, and wheelchair type. To assess transfer quality, the Transfer Assessment Instrument (TAI) versions 3.0 and 4.0 were used. The Spinal Cord Injury- Falls Concern Scale (SCI-FCS) was used to quantify FOF. Stepwise linear regression analysis was conducted to examine factors influencing FOF.

      Results

      Participant's age, sex, duration of health condition, wheelchair type, and transfer quality were found to be associated with FOF. The regression analysis indicated transfer quality (B = -1.56, p < 0.01) and wheelchair type (Manual wheelchair, B = - 5.79, p < 0.01) were significant predictors of FOF, R2 = 20% (F = 11.19; p < 0.01).

      Conclusion

      Compared to manual wheelchair, power wheelchair/scooter users with poor transfer quality reported higher levels of FOF. Clinicians and researchers working with wheelchair users should emphasize quality of transfers and consider the type of wheelchair while developing interventions to reduce FOF in this population. Further longitudinal prospective studies on modifiable factors associated with FOF among full-time wheelchair users are warranted.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      AIS (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale), BMI (Body Mass Index), FOF (Fear of Falling), MS (Multiple Sclerosis), QOL (Quality of Life), SCI (Spinal Cord Injury), SCI-FCS (Spinal Cord Injury- Falls Concern Scale), TAI (Transfer Assessment Instrument)
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