Relationships Among Cushion Type, Backrest Height, Seated Posture, and Reach of Wheelchair Users With Spinal Cord InjuryBy Springle, Stephen, PhD; Wootten, Mary, MS; Sawacha, Zimi, PhD; Theilman, Greg, PhD; Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp.
Publication Date: Fall 2003
Study investigates seated posture and trunk control as important factors that effect upper extremity function in people who use wheelchairs. A stable pelvis and trunk are required to provide a base from which upper extremity movement occurs, although the ability to move one’s trunk and pelvis can increase functional ranges of motion. For people who use wheelchairs, balancing trunk support with adequate trunk mobility has important functional and medical consequences. A study was conducted to determine the effect of cushion and backrest height on posture and reach, and to determine the relationship between posture and upper extremity reach. Twenty-two participants with spinal cord injury were tested in six configurations, including three types of cushions: (1) a Roho High Profile segmented air cushion, (2) a Jay 2 contoured viscous fluid/foam cushion, and (3) a Varilite Evolution air/foam cushion; and two of three backrest heights: (1) referenced to T12, (2) inferior scapular angle, and (3) scapular spine. Noninvasive postural measurement was performed using a Flock of Birds (FOB), which was designed by Ascension Technologies. The FOB system uses magnetic field pulses to track the position and orientation of individual sensors relative to a transmitter. Seated posture and American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) tests were also conducted as significant predictors of reach. No evidence was found indicating cushion type or backrest height used. Sitting with increased posterior pelvic tilt enhanced stability and permitted greater reach. Since individuals adapt to different postures when using different cushions and backrest heights, the authors recommend that clinicians should monitor posture while assessing seating function in people who use wheelchairs.
Assistive Products Discussed: EVOLUTION BACK DEEP
J2 DEEP CONTOUR CUSHION
ROHO HIGH-PROFILE & LOW-PROFILE DRY FLOTATION CUSHION
Published by: American Paraplegia Society (Website:http://www.apssci.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J46249