Development of a wheelchair maintenance training programme and questionnaire for clinicians and wheelchair users

Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2017 Nov;12(8):843-851. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2016.1277792. Epub 2017 Jan 27.


Purpose of state: The aims of this study were to develop a Wheelchair Maintenance Training Programme (WMTP) as a tool for clinicians to teach wheelchair users (and caregivers when applicable) in a group setting to perform basic maintenance at home in the USA and to develop a Wheelchair Maintenance Training Questionnaire (WMT-Q) to evaluate wheelchair maintenance knowledge in clinicians, manual and power wheelchair users.

Methods: The WMTP and WMT-Q were developed through an iterative process.

Results: A convenience sample of clinicians (n = 17), manual wheelchair (n ∞ 5), power wheelchair users (n = 4) and caregivers (n = 4) provided feedback on the training programme. A convenience sample of clinicians (n = 38), manual wheelchair (n = 25), and power wheelchair users (n = 30) answered the WMT-Q throughout different phases of development. The subscores of the WMT-Q achieved a reliability that ranged between ICC(3,1) = 0.48 to ICC(3,1) = 0.89. The WMTP and WMT-Q were implemented with 15 clinicians who received in-person training in the USA using the materials developed and showed a significant increase in all except one of the WMT-Q subscores after the WMTP (p < 0.007).

Conclusion: The WMTP will continue to be revised as it is further implemented. The WMT-Q is an acceptable instrument to measure pre- and post-training maintenance knowledge. Implications for Rehabilitation The Wheelchair Maintenance Training Program can be used to educate rehabilitation clinicians and technicians to improve wheelchair service and delivery to end users. This training complements the World Health Organization basic wheelchair service curriculum, which only includes training of the clinicians, but does not include detailed information to train wheelchair users and caregivers. This training program offers a time efficient method for providing education to end users in a group setting that may mitigate adverse consequences resulting from wheelchair breakdown. This training program has significant potential for impact among wheelchair users in areas where access to repair services is limited.

Keywords: Clinician training; caregiver training; group training; maintenance; test–retest reliability; training development; wheelchair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Electric Power Supplies
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / standards
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Knowledge
  • Maintenance / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Wheelchairs*