Impact of the TEAM Wheels eHealth manual wheelchair training program: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

PLoS One. 2021 Oct 13;16(10):e0258509. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0258509. eCollection 2021.

Abstract

Background: Variable, and typically inadequate, delivery of skills training following manual wheelchair (MWC) provision has a detrimental impact on user mobility and participation. Traditional in-person delivery of training by rehabilitation therapists has diminished due to cost, travel time, and most recently social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19. Effective alternative training approaches include eHealth home training applications and interactive peer-led training using experienced and proficient MWC users. An innovative TEAM Wheels program integrates app-based self-training and teleconference peer-led training using a computer tablet platform.

Objective: This protocol outlines implementation and evaluation of the TEAM Wheels training program in a randomized control trial using a wait-list control group.

Setting: The study will be implemented in a community setting in three Canadian cities.

Participants: Individuals ≥ 18 years of age within one year of transitioning to use of a MWC.

Intervention: Using a computer tablet, participants engage in three peer-led teleconference training sessions and 75-150 minutes of weekly practice using a video-based training application over 4 weeks. Peer trainers individualize the participants' training plans and monitor their tablet-based training activity online. Control group participants also receive the intervention following a 1-month wait-list period and data collection.

Measurements: Outcomes assessing participation; skill capacity and performance; self-efficacy; mobility; and quality of life will be measured at baseline and post-treatment, and at 6-month follow-up for the treatment group.

Impact statement: We anticipate that TEAM Wheels will be successfully carried out at all sites and participants will demonstrate statistically significant improvement in the outcome measures compared with the control group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Grant support

The study was funded through a peer-reviewed operating grant awarded to EG from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (PJT-162152). 2. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/193.html.