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Initial Evaluation of the FreeWheel Wheelchair Attachment

By Denison, Ian; Borisoff, Jaimie F.; RESNA/ICTA 2011: Advancing Rehabilitation Technologies for an Aging Society, June 5-8, 2011, Toronto, Canada,
Publication Date: 2011

Study evaluated the FreeWheel wheelchair attachment, a device which was developed to overcome the burden that front casters pose to manual wheelchairs. The FreeWheel is defined as a caster wheel attachment weighing less than 5 pounds that attaches to the footplate of most typical rigid wheelchairs, in the center line of the chair, with a simple over-center cam clamp. Single trial wheeling tests of the FreeWheel were performed, when attached to a Tilite Cross Sport rigid chair with hard urethane casters, by a 160 pound able bodied physical therapist with over 20 years of experienced wheelchair use. Instructions for completing initial setup of the attachment were found to be clear and easy to follow. Installing a perch component onto the rear backrest rigidizer bar for storage when the FreeWheel was not in use was also quite simple. The chair was 25 percent quicker through a slalom course with the FreeWheel attached than without it. The FreeWheel was also found to perform well on hard surfaces, provided a smooth ride over a 3 inch threshold, and could consistently climb 4 inches. Descending without a wheelie was much easier in the FreeWheel than with the wheelchair alone, and the increased wheelbase with the attachment allowed for the descent of average stairs in the forward direction. The FreeWheel showed no inclination to flutter during wheeling on various surfaces and also isolated the wheeler from any irregularities encountered when traveling along sidewalks.

Assistive Products Discussed: FREEWHEEL WHEELCHAIR ATTACHMENT
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)   (Website:http://www.resna.org)

Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)    (Web Site: http://www.resna.org )
Link to text: http://web.resna.org/conference/proceedings/2011/RESNA_ICTA/borisoff-69656.pdf

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