Short-term influence of transfer training among full time pediatric wheelchair users: A randomized trial

Laura A. Rice, Jennifer L. Dysterheft, Ethan Sanders, Ian M. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective/Background: To describe a structured, short-term, transfer training intervention for full-time pediatric wheelchair users, investigate the impact of training on transfer skills, and to examine similarities and differences in response to training compared to those seen in adult wheelchair users. Design: Randomized clinical trial. Methods: Participants were first randomized into an intervention (IG) or control group (CG). After completing surveys and demographic intake forms, all participants performed two sets of level transfers (from wheelchair to bench and back to wheelchair = one set) at three time points. Each time point composed of two transfer sets were scored using the Transfer Assessment Instrument (TAI) and averaged to produce a final transfer score per time point. No feedback or training were given to participants prior to time points one and two however the IG received structured training prior to transfer assessment # 3. TAI scores were compared at transfer assessment #3 using a Mann-Whitney test. Outcome measures: Transfer Assessment Instrument (TAI) and Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC). Results: Intervention group participants demonstrated significant improvements among TAI scores (9.06 ± 1.01) compared to the control group (7.15 ± 1.67), P = 0.030, d = 1.385. No significant differences were found among SPPC scores. Conclusion: Pediatric wheelchair users transfer skills were found to improve immediately after training with TAI score changes similar to those seen in adult wheelchair users after training. Such improvements may be a factor in long-term upper extremity preservation. Further testing is needed to examine the long-term impact of improved transfer skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-404
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2017


  • Activities of daily living
  • Disabled children/rehabilitation
  • Wheelchair
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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