The effects of wheelchair mobility skills and exercise training on physical activity, fitness, skills and confidence in youth using a manual wheelchair
Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a combination of wheelchair mobility skills (WMS) training and exercise training on physical activity (PA), WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and physical fitness. Methods: Youth using a manual wheelchair (n = 60) participated in this practice-based intervention, with a waiting list period (16 weeks), exercise training (8 weeks), WMS training (8 weeks), and follow-up (16 weeks). Repeated measures included: PA (Activ8), WMS (Utrecht Pediatric Wheelchair Mobility Skills Test), confidence in wheelchair mobility (Wheelchair Mobility Confidence Scale), and physical fitness (cardiorespiratory fitness, (an)aerobic performance) and were analysed per outcome parameter using a multilevel model analyses. Differences between the waiting list and training period were determined with an unpaired sample t-test. Results: Multilevel model analysis showed significant positive effects for PA (p = 0.01), WMS (p < 0.001), confidence in wheelchair mobility (p < 0.001), aerobic (p < 0.001), and anaerobic performance (p < 0.001). Unpaired sample t-tests underscored these effects for PA (p < 0.01) and WMS (p < 0.001). There were no effects on cardiorespiratory fitness. The order of training (exercise before WMS) had a significant effect on confidence in wheelchair mobility. Conclusions: A combination of exercise and WMS training appears to have significant positive long-term effects on PA, WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and (an)aerobic performance in youth using a manual wheelchair.Implications for rehabilitationExercise training and wheelchair mobility skills (WMS) training can lead to a sustained improvement in physical activity (PA) in youth using a manual wheelchair.These combined trainings can also lead to a sustained increase in WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and (an)aerobic performance.More attention is needed in clinical practice and in research towards improving PA in youth using a manual wheelchair.
|Published in||Disability and rehabilitation|
|Key words||mobility, children, performance, physical behaviour, self-efficacy, wheelchair skills|
|Digital Object Identifier||10.1080/09638288.2021.1907456|