Interrater and intrarater reliability of the wheelchair skills test version 4.2 for power wheelchair users

Disabil Rehabil. 2018 Mar;40(6):678-683. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2016.1271464. Epub 2017 Jan 23.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to estimate the interrater and intrarater reliability of the Wheelchair Skills Test (WST) Version 4.2 for powered wheelchairs operated by adult users.

Materials and methods: Cohort study with a convenience sample of occupational therapists (n = 10). For the main outcome measure, participants viewed and scored eight videos of adult power wheelchair users completing the 30 skills of the WST Version 4.2 on two occasions, a minimum of two weeks apart. Using these scores, we calculated intraclass correlation coefficients to estimate interrater and intrarater reliability.

Results: The interrater reliability intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.940 (95%CI 0.862-0.985). Intrarater reliability intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 0.923 to 0.998.

Conclusions: The WST Version 4.2 has excellent interrater and intrarater reliability and is a reliable tool for use in clinical and research practice to evaluate a power wheelchair user's skill capacity. Implications for Rehabilitation The Wheelchair Skills Test for Powered Wheelchair Users (WST-P 4.2) is a useful addition to the clinical tools available for clinicians who assess and train for powered wheelchair use. The WST-P 4.2 has excellent reliability and potential for clinical use as a pre-post measure of powered wheelchair skills. Clinicians using the WST-P 4.2 should attempt to maintain consistent scoring procedures, particularly for those skills that may require subjective assessment of skill safety.

Keywords: Outcome assessment (healthcare); clinician; rehabilitation; reproducibility of results; wheelchairs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Occupational Therapists*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards
  • Rehabilitation Research
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Videotape Recording
  • Wheelchairs*

Grant support