During inpatient rehabilitation, the development of wheelchair performance skills is very important. One article was found that investigated those aspects of rehabilitation that are important to developing wheelchair skills.
Kilkens et al. (2005) investigated the longitudinal changes in manual wheelchair skill performance and parameters for physical capacity of people with SCI at the beginning of their inpatient rehabilitation, at 3 months and at point of discharge. The wheelchair circuit consisted of 8 standardized tasks in a fixed sequence on a treadmill, hard and soft surface. The physical capacity parameters included upper extremity muscle strength, peak oxygen uptake and peak power output (PO peak).Their study found a significant relationship between upper extremity strength and PO peak are parameters of physical capacity that influence wheelchair skill performance during inpatient rehabilitation of individuals with SCI.
There is level 2 evidence (from one cohort study; Kilkens et al. 2005) that exercise training (at physical capacity) and upper extremity strengthening influence wheelchair skill performance during inpatient rehabilitation.
- Physical conditioning and strengthening of the upper extremity during initial inpatient rehabilitation is important to the development of wheelchair propulsion skills.