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Journal Article


MacGillivray MK, Eng JJ, Dean E, Sawatzky BJ. Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), Vancouver, Canada; Department of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






OBJECTIVE: To identify whether motor skill-based training improves wheeling biomechanics in older adults and whether transfer or retention occurs.

DESIGN: Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) SETTING: Human mobility laboratory PARTICIPANTS: 34 able-bodied older adults 50 years and older deemed ready to participate in physical activity. INTERVENTION: Participants were randomized to one of 3 groups: experimental group with six motor skilled-based training sessions, active control group with dose-matched uninstructed practice, and the inactive control group (no training or practice). The experimental group sessions consisted of two five-minute blocks of wheelchair propulsion training, separated by five minutes of break, for a total of 60 minutes of wheeling. Breaks included education and discussion related to wheelchair propulsion. Training focused on increasing push angle, decreasing push frequency, decreasing negative braking forces, using a circular wheeling strategy, and using smooth pushes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Temporal spatial and kinetic variables (i.e. push angle, push frequency, total and tangential forces, negative force) during steady state wheeling and biomechanical variables assessed with the SmartWheel Clinical Protocol to identify transfer.

RESULTS: The training group significantly increased push angle and decreased push frequency compared to the practice (p<0.05) and control groups (P<0.05), which were retained over time and transferred to overground wheeling on tile (p≤0.05). The dose-matched practice group did not differ from the inactive control group for any variables (p>0.05) CONCLUSIONS: Older adults improve select biomechanical variables following motor skill-based training which are retained over time and transfer to overground wheeling. Participants in the active control group did not improve with uninstructed practice compared to the inactive control group.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Language: en


feedback; manual wheelchair; motor learning; practice; training; wheelchair propulsion


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