Effects of seat and back rest inclination on wheelchair propulsion of individuals with spastic cerebral palsy Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vh53x032r

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  • The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of back and seat rest inclination on the kinematics of manual hand-rim wheelchair propulsion in subjects with spastic type cerebral palsy. Subjects ranged in age from nine to twenty-one and were classified as USCPAA Class III or IV functional ability. Subjects were required to propel a standardized wheelchair at six seat positions from combinations of back rest angles of 0, 3 and -5 degrees from vertical and thigh angles of 0 and 5 degrees from horizontal. Combinations of thigh/seat rest angles were 0/-5, 5/-5, 5/0, 5/3, 0/3, 0/0 constituting the six different conditions. Subjects were filmed while wheeling in each seat position. Wheeling was performed at two and three kilometers per hour on a low friction roller system. It was hypothesized that since individuals with spastic type cerebral palsy have improved functional upper extremity performance as the body center of mass is positioned over the ischial tuberocities and hip flexion angle is maintained at 90 degrees (0/0), that similar results would be found in wheelchair propulsion. Based on the results of kinematic data analyzed in this study there was no indication that the 0/0 seat position was superior for subjects with cerebral palsy under the conditions of this study. Larger elbow flexion/extension range of motion (p = .06) exhibited by the 5/3 and 5/0 seat orientations suggests that these positions provide a more effective wheelchair propulsion orientation for subjects in this study.
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