Kelly Waugh, PT, MAPT, ATP, 2011 Education Foundation Grant Recipient
Professional Development and Education
Development of a Clinical Guide to Wheelchair Seating Terms and Measures
Successful outcomes in the provision of wheelchairs require an appropriate match between the seating support system and the wheelchair user’s body; however, standard terms and measures have been lacking for communication of this critical information. There is significant inconsistency in the terms that are used to describe and measure wheelchair seating parameters (such as leg rest angle, seat height) and postural measures (such as hip angle, trunk lean, pelvic tilt). A common vocabulary of terms and measures is needed by clinicians, suppliers, manufacturers and technicians for accurate translation of assessment information into a seating prescription, and for effective set up of the prescribed product.
Additionally, the adoption of standardized measures will encourage collaborative research regarding the effect of seated posture on a wheelchair user’s health, comfort and function. To address this need, we will develop and disseminate a Clinical Application Guide to standardized terms and measures related to wheelchair seating, translating a highly technical international standard into a format and language that is easy to understand and clinically useful. There is currently no single resource containing this information that is free, easily accessible and practical to use for health care professionals in the field of wheelchair prescription, service delivery and research.