Development and content validation of the Wheelchair Use Confidence Scale: a mixed-methods study

Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2011;6(1):57-66. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2010.512970.


Background: Confidence in one's ability to perform a given task can be a stronger predictor of performance than skill itself. There are currently no measures to assess confidence with manual wheelchair use. The objective of this study was to develop and assess the content validity of the Wheelchair Use Confidence Scale (WheelCon-M).

Method: A two-phase mixed-methods design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to generate items, followed by a Delphi survey for item selection. Persons who use a wheelchair, health care professionals, and researchers participated in both phases of the study.

Results: An 84-item WheelCon-M was developed based on the qualitative data. After the Delphi survey, a final 62-item WheelCon-M was composed of the following six areas (number of items per area): Negotiating the Physical Environment (33 items), Activities Performed using a Manual Wheelchair (11 items), Knowledge and Problem Solving (6 items), Advocacy (4 items), Managing Social Situations (5 items) and Managing Emotions (3 items).

Conclusion: This article reports the development and content validation of the WheelCon-M. As a scale to measure confidence with wheelchair use was not available prior to this work, clinicians now have a method of identifying individuals who have low confidence with wheelchair use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Knowledge
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Problem Solving
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Wheelchairs / psychology*