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A Swedish cultural adaptation of the participation questionnaire Functional Scale of the Disability Evaluation System – Child version

AXELSSON, Anna Karin
ULLENHAG, Anna
ÖDMAN, Pia
2021

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Purpose: The aim was to culturally validate a questionnaire about children’s/youth’s participation to be used in a Swedish context.


Methods: FUNDES-Child, based on the well-established CASP, was chosen. Questions about engagement and hindering factors were added to the existing questions about frequency and independence in 20 activity areas. Using a qualitative, explorative design, 16 interviews with children/youths/caregivers were made to explore opinions about the questionnaire. Follow-up interviews confirmed the result of the revised questionnaire. Qualitative content analysis was performed.

 

Results: The interviews provided support for the questionnaire’s relevance by being a tool to assess important aspects of participation, to gain insights into one’s own/the child’s participation, and to promote ideas about what causes the degree of participation. To achieve comprehensiveness, no activity area was found to be missing nor superfluous. However, some examples were needed to be modified where “parades” are unusual in Sweden and therefore removed, while “singing in choir” was added. In search for comprehensibility, opinions about the layout of the first version were raised and a varying degree of understanding of wording and concepts were found and thus taken into account. 

 

Conclusions: The questionnaire can be used for establishing meaningful goals and to potentially increase children’s participation.

‘Satan is holding your tongue back’: Stuttering as moral failure

ISAACS, Dane H
2021

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Background: The last decade has seen researchers and speech–language pathologists employ and advocate for a disability studies approach in the study of the lived experiences of people who stutter and in the design of interventions and treatment approaches for such individuals. Joshua St. Pierre, one of the few theorists to explore stuttering as a disability, mentions as a key issue the liminal nature of people who stutter when describing their disabling experiences.

 

Objectives: This article aimed to build on the work of St. Pierre, exploring the liminal nature of people who stutter.

 

Method: Drawing on my personal experiences of stuttering as a coloured South African man, I illuminated the liminal nature of stuttering.

 

Results: This analytic autoethnography demonstrates how the interpretation of stuttering as the outcome of moral failure leads to the discrimination and oppression of people who stutter by able-bodied individuals as well as individuals who stutter.

 

Conclusion: As long as stuttering is interpreted as the outcome of moral failure, the stigma and oppression, as well as the disablism experience by people who stutter, will continue to be concealed and left unaddressed.

The effects of wheelchair mobility skills and exercise training on physical activity, fitness, skills and confidence in youth using a manual wheelchair

SOL, Marleen E
VERSCHUREN, Olaf
HOREMANS, Henricus
WESTERS, Paul
VISSER-MEILY, Johanna M A
DE GROOT, Janke F
Fit-for-the-Future Consortium
2021

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Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a combination of wheelchair mobility skills (WMS) training and exer- cise training on physical activity (PA), WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and physical fitness. Methods: Youth using a manual wheelchair (n 1⁄4 60) participated in this practice-based intervention, with a waiting list period (16 weeks), exercise training (8 weeks), WMS training (8 weeks), and follow-up (16 weeks). Repeated measures included: PA (Activ8), WMS (Utrecht Pediatric Wheelchair Mobility Skills Test), confidence in wheelchair mobility (Wheelchair Mobility Confidence Scale), and physical fitness (cardio- respiratory fitness, (an)aerobic performance) and were analysed per outcome parameter using a multilevel model analyses. Differences between the waiting list and training period were determined with an unpaired sample t-test.

 

Results: Multilevel model analysis showed significant positive effects for PA (p1⁄40.01), WMS (p<0.001), confidence in wheelchair mobility (p<0.001), aerobic (p<0.001), and anaerobic performance (p<0.001). Unpaired sample t-tests underscored these effects for PA (p<0.01) and WMS (p<0.001). There were no effects on cardiorespiratory fitness. The order of training (exercise before WMS) had a significant effect on confidence in wheelchair mobility.

 

Conclusions: A combination of exercise and WMS training appears to have significant positive long-term effects on PA, WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and (an)aerobic performance in youth using a manual wheelchair.

Hard of Hearing Adults’ Interpersonal Interactions and Relationships in Daily Life

OLSSON, Sylvia
DAG, Munir
KULLBERG, Christian
2021

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Globally, there is limited research on how deaf and hard of hearing adults experience higher education and work. The purpose of the present study is to examine hard of hearing (HH) adults’ experiences of social interactions and social relationships in higher education, the workplace and leisure time. Data were obtained from semistructured interviews with 16 individuals (aged 24–31 years) from diverse cultural backgrounds (10 males and 6 females) with severe-to-profound hearing loss. Participants were selected based on previous expressed interest in participating in further studies after having been involved in an earlier study. The interviews were subjected to a qualitative thematic data analysis. According to the results, people with a hearing loss experience communication barrier in higher education, at work and in leisure time. These communication barriers lead to difficulties achieving social inclusion, and in some circumstances to social exclusion. Assistive technology (AT) and information and communication technologies (ICT) were important facilitators of moving from social exclusion towards social inclusion.

Exploring participation in family and recreational activities among children with cerebral palsy during early childhood: how does it relate to motor function and parental empowerment?

KALLESON, Runa
JAHNSEN, Reidun
ØSTENSJØ, Sigrid
2021

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Purpose: To explore participation in real-life activities during early childhood, compare children’s partici- pation based on motor function and investigate relationships between participation and parental empowerment.


Methods: Data derived from the Cerebral Palsy Follow-up Program (CPOP) in Norway and the research registry Habilitation Trajectories, Interventions, and Services for Young Children with CP (CPHAB). Fifty-six children (12–56 months, GMFCS levels I–IV, MACS levels I–V) and their families were included. Frequency and enjoyment of participation were assessed by the Child Engagement in Daily Life Questionnaire and parental empowerment in family and service situations by the Family Empowerment Scale at least twice during the preschool years. Differences between groups based on motor function were explored by the Kruskal–Wallis tests. A linear mixed model was conducted to explore relationships between child partici- pation and parental empowerment.

 

Results: Similarities and differences in participation between children at different motor function levels varied between the activities explored. Fluctuations in frequency and stable enjoyment scores over time were most common. A statistically significant relationship was revealed between child participation and parental empowerment in family situations, but not in service situations.

 

Conclusions: Child participation appears as context-dependent and complexly influenced by both motor function and parental empowerment. This supports a focus on transactional processes when exploring and promoting child participation.

The community-based actions that removed barriers to inclusive education in Kenya

ELDER, Brent C
PAYNE, Mbuh
OSWAGO, Benson
2021

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This article represents a culmination of inclusive education projects implemented in western Kenya since 2010. In this article, we discuss the 2018 iteration of this on-going community-based participatory research (CBPR)-informed project in which we utilised multiple theoretical frameworks to inform our methods in this project, including decolonising methodologies and Critical Disability Studies (CDS). We conducted qualitative interviews as a way to learn about the ways in which inclusion committees facilitated the partial removal of barriers to the development of an inclusive education system in the region over the last decade. In this article, we provide an overview of the barriers to inclusive education in the global South and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on western Kenya. We present findings that highlight the various inclusion committee actions that contributed to the partial removal of barriers which included: sensitising communities about inclusive education; promoting access to inclusive education; and implementing inclusive strategies like income generating activities (IGAs) and co-teaching. We conclude the article by suggesting potential ways forward for inclusive education in Kenya including: a multi-sector approach for family supports; providing government incentives to inclusive schools; and promoting IGAs and co-teaching practices in teacher education programs and in schools.

Views and Experiences of People with Intellectual Disabilities to Improve Access to Assistive Technology: Perspectives from India

BOOT, F H
GHOSH, R
DINSMORE, J G
MACLACHLAN, M
2021

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Purpose: People with intellectual disabilities are deeply affected by health inequity, which is also reflected in their access to and use of assistive technology (AT). Including the perspectives of adults with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers, together with the views of local health professionals, suppliers of AT and policy-makers, this paper aims to provide an overview of factors influencing access to AT and its use by people with intellectual disabilities in Bangalore, a southern region of India.

 

Method: Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 15 adults with intellectual disabilities (ranging from mild to profound) and their caregivers, and with 16 providers of AT. This helped to gain insight into the current use, needs, knowledge, awareness, access, customisation, funding, follow-up, social inclusion, stigma and policies around AT and intellectual disability.

 

Results: Access to AT was facilitated by community fieldworkers and services to reach out and identify people with intellectual disabilities. Important barriers were stigma, and lack of knowledge and awareness among parents. Factorsrelated to continued use were the substantial dependence on the care system to use AT, and the importance of AT training and instructions for the user and the care system.

 

Conclusion and Implications: The barriers and facilitators related to AT for people with intellectual disabilities differ from other populations in need. The findings of this study can be used to inform and adjust country policies and frameworks whose aim is to improve access to AT and enhance the participation of people with intellectual disabilities within their communities.

Academic Outcomes and Coping Mechanisms of Children using Cochlear Implants in Mainstream Schools in Kerala, India

GEORGE, A
JOY, J M
SREEKUMAR, S
2021

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Purpose: The aim of the present study was to understand the academic outcomes of children using cochlear implants in mainstream schools in Kerala, India and to explore the compensatory strategies used by them to overcome the difficultiesfaced in classrooms.

 

Method: Thirty-one children using cochlear implants who were attending first and second grades in mainstream schools, and their parents and teachers participated in the study. Teachers were asked to rate a questionnaire, “Teachers’ Perceptions of Academic Outcomes”, which consisted of five sections – oral comprehension, oral expression, reading, writing and mathematics. The performance of the children using cochlear implants was compared with the performance of typically hearing children in the class. The grades obtained in the previous examination were also used for the comparison. Information was collected regarding difficulties faced by the children inside the classroom and their strategies to overcome the challenges.

 

Results: The class teachers rated the performance of 71 % of these children as ‘above average’. Though the academic outcomes were found to be good on the questionnaire and classroom tests, most of the children with cochlear implantsfaced various difficulties and had used different compensatory strategies to give their optimum performance in the classroom.

 

Conclusion: The study emphasizes the importance of having mid- and long-term follow-ups with children using cochlear implants, even after mainstreaming. It is necessary to orient and train teachers about the needs of these children and to implement support strategies in mainstream schools.

What are the most effective strategies for strengthening health systems for disability inclusive development? - Evidence brief

MACTAGGART, Islay
February 2021

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Health system strengthening refers to initiatives that improve one or more functions of health systems, leading to better health. There is a large body of evidence on what works to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), much of which is aligned to the World Health Organization (WHO) health system building blocks (service delivery; health workforce; information; medical products, vaccines and technologies; financing; and leadership/governance). Despite the fact that some people with disabilities have additional health needs, and many face additional barriers to accessing healthcare, inclusion of people with disabilities is largely missing from this evidence base. Separately, a smaller evidence base exists on increasing the effectiveness of specific health-related services targeting people with disabilities, such as health-related Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), rehabilitation services more broadly, and mental health services. This second evidence base is less closely aligned to the building blocks. Reviewing these outputs in parallel goes some way towards identifying effective strategies for strengthening health systems for disability inclusive development.

Enhancing Function, Fun and Participation with Assistive Devices, Adaptive Positioning, and Augmented Mobility for Young Children with Infantile-Onset Spinal Muscular Atrophy: A Scoping Review and Illustrative Case Report

LIVINGSTONE, Roslyn
PALEG, Ginny
2021

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Recent advances in medical interventions have changed the prognosis for children with infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA-1); however, little has been published regarding rehabilitation management. A rapid scoping review was conducted in November 2020 using Medline and CINAHL databases. Evidence supporting use of assistive devices and equipment to enhance participation, mobility, function, and posture in lying, sitting, and standing positions was sought. From 239 articles, only five studies (describing use of augmentative communication, manual and power mobility, supported standing and orthotic devices) met inclusion criteria. Results are presented alongside a case report of a 5-year-old boy (treated with Nusinersen since 7 months-of-age) who uses a variety of devices to enhance his activity and participation in family life. While reclined and tilted sitting positions as well as power mobility were previously considered for children with SMA-1, this child has progressed to supported upright standing, self-propelling a lightweight manual wheelchair indoors, communicating using multiple methods and taking steps in a dynamic mobility device. Power mobility was introduced in a switch-adapted cart at 11 months and he was independently exploring indoors and outside in his power wheelchair before 20 months. Research evidence is limited, but alongside the case report highlights the importance of a comprehensive and proactive approach to enhancing function, fun and participation with family and friends through adaptive equipment for children with significant and life-limiting disabilities.

Disability inclusion annual report 2020

UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY (UNRWA)
December 2020

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The number of Palestine refugees registered by UNRWA recently grew to 5.7 million (from 5.5 million in 2019) in all its five field of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. Among them are Palestine refugees with disabilities, who have long-term impairments, which in interactions with attitudinal, institutional, and environmental barriers prevent their full and effective participation on an equal basis with others in society. Persons with disabilities constitute an estimated 15 per cent of the global population1, and may constitute a higher percentage in humanitarian contexts, such as Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, in particular, which are UNRWA fields of operations.

 

The main actions undertaken in 2020 discussed in the report are:

  • targeted and disability-specific services for persons with disabilities
  • disability inclusion through programmes
  • inter-agency coordination
  • international protection advocacy

Wheelchair service provision education for healthcare professional students, healthcare personnel and educators across low- to high-resourced settings: a scoping review protocol

KAMALAKANNAN, Sureshkumar
RUSHTON, Paula W
GIESBRECHT, Ed
RUSAW, David F
BOUZIANE, Selsabil-A
NADEAU, Melodie
MCKEE, Jennifer
GOWRAN, Rosemary J
KIRBY, R L
PEDERSEN, Jessica P
TASIEMSKI, Tomasz
BURROLA-MENDEZ, Yohali
TOFANIN, Marco
GOLDBERG, Mary
PEARLMAN, Jon
2020

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Purpose

Appropriate wheelchair provision is necessary for addressing participation barriers experienced by individuals with mobility impairments. Health care professionals involved in the wheelchair service provision process require a specific set of skills and knowledge to enable wheelchair use that meets individual posture, mobility and daily living requirements. However, inconsistencies exist in academic programmes globally about providing comprehensive education and training programmes. The planned scoping review aims to review and synthesize the global literature on wheelchair service provision education for healthcare professional students, healthcare personnel and educators offered by universities, organizations and industries.

 

Methods

This scoping review will be guided by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) methodological framework. Comprehensive literature searches will be conducted on various global electronic databases on health to seek out how wheelchair service provision education is organized, integrated, implemented and evaluated. Two independent reviewers will perform eligibility decisions and key data extractions. Data from selected studies will be extracted and analysed using conventional content analysis. Information related to wheelchair service provision education including curriculum development, content, teaching methods, evaluation and models of integration will be synthesized.

 

Implications and dissemination

The planned scoping review will be the first to examine all aspects of wheelchair service provision education across professionals, settings and countries. We anticipate that results will inform the content of a Wheelchair Educators’ Package, and if appropriate, a follow-up systematic review. An article reporting the results of the scoping review will be submitted for publication to a scientific journal.

An overview of assistive technology products and services provided in Malawi

SMITH, Emma M
EBUENYI, Ikenna D
KAFUMBA, Juba
JAMALI-PHIRI, Monica
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
MUNTHALI, Alister
2020

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Background

Assistive technology is the products and services used by individuals with functional limitations to enable participation in society and realisation of rights afforded by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Assistive Product List is a comprehensive list of products identified as essential for access through universal health coverage. Key stakeholders, including organisations of persons with disabilities, civil service organisations, academic organisations and government ministries are collaborating to integrate assistive technology into policy and develop a priority assistive products list for Malawi.

 

Objective

To understand the organisational characteristics of, and assistive products provided by, key stakeholders working in AT in Malawi.

 

Study Design

Online survey of representatives from key stakeholder organisations.

 

Methods

We surveyed representatives of key stakeholder organisations to gather information regarding assistive technology product and service provision in Malawi. Responses were analysed using counts for closed-ended questions, and conventional content analysis for open-ended questions.

 

Results

A total of 36 of the 50 APL products were provided by eight organisations. Related services were provided for 36 of the 50 APL products by twelve organisations. Five organisations reported providing both products and services. Products and services are largely funded by donation and provided free to those who require them.

 

Conclusion

A range of organisations in Malawi play a role in assistive product delivery and related services. Coordinated AP delivery and service provision is required at a national level which is sustainable and inclusive, and is based on identified needs of the Malawian population.

Effectiveness of Community-Based Rehabilitation on the lives of Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Mixed Method Study in Karnataka, India

Bokalial, Doly
Hossain, Forhad Md
Kumar, Senthil N S
Bajracharya, Shristi
2020

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Purpose: The study aimed to identify the effects of the CBR programme on parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, living in Karnataka State, India. It also tried to find the challenges and improvements needed to make the CBR programme more effective.

 

Method: A cross-sectional, descriptive study design was used to collect a sample of 100 parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, with GMFCS levels IV and V. The sample was drawn from various communities in Bangalore, Davanagere and Bijapur, where the services of The Association of People with Disability are available. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with the study subjects. Data was analysed by SPSS using descriptive and inferential statistics.

 

Results: It was observed that the CBR programme had a positive effect on parents’ health, knowledge, social lives and empowerment. A binary logistic regression was done to find the relationship between health, knowledge, social lives and assistive devices use. A strong association was found between all the areas (p=.001) except GMFCS and assistive devices use (p=.004) at 95% CI. The odds ratios between them were greater than 1 and showed the strong positive effect of the CBR programme on parents.

 

Conclusion: The CBR programme not only has a positive effect on children with Cerebral Palsy, but also plays an important role in parents’ lives. It contributes in a positive way to parents’ overall activity.

Impact of the FindMyApps program on people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia and their caregivers; an exploratory pilot randomised controlled trial

BEENTJES, Kim M
NEAL, David P
KERKHOF, Yvonne J F
BROEDER, Caroline
MOERIDJAN, Zaïnah D J
ETTEMA, Teake P
PELKMANS, Wiesje
MULLER, Majon M
GRAFF, Maud J L
DRÖES, Rose-Marie
2020

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Purpose

FindMyApps is a web-based selection-tool and errorless learning training program to help people with mild dementia/Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and caregivers find user-friendly apps. In preparation of a definitive trial, the impact and feasibility of the FindMyApps intervention on self-management and engagement in meaningful activities, including social participation, was explored.

 

Materials and methods

An exploratory pilot randomised controlled trial (trial registration approval number: NL7210) with pre/post measurements was conducted with community-dwelling people with mild dementia/MCI and their caregivers (n = 59) in the Netherlands. Dyads in the experimental group (n = 28) received training to use the tablet and FindMyApps, and the errorless learning method was taught to their caregivers. Control group dyads (n = 31) received a tablet (without FindMyApps), instructions on tablet-use and links to dementia-friendly apps. Validated instruments were used to assess person with dementia’s self-management, meaningful activities and social participation, caregiver’s sense of competence and both their quality of life.

 

Results and conclusions

No statistical significant group differences on the outcomes were found. Small to moderate effect-sizes in favour of the FindMyApps group were found for self-management and social participation. Caregivers tended to have more positive care experiences. Subgroup analyses showed that people older than 70 benefitted more from FindMyApps regarding self-management and higher educated people benefitted more regarding social participation. FindMyApps is feasible for the target group and may have potential to improve self-management and social participation. For a future definitive effectiveness trial a larger sample size is recommended, as well as taking into account the possible impact of education and age.

The case for investing in assistive technology

ATscale
November 2020

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In this new report, ATscale describes the enormous gains that access to assistive technology (AT) can have in health, for the community and the economy. The figures are dramatic: investment in the provision of four assistive products - hearing aids, prostheses, eyeglasses, and wheelchairs - will result in a return on investment of 9:1.

Having access to AT can make the difference between failure or success in school, between a job or unemployment, between a life of opportunity or a life of dependency. An example: for a child in a low- or middle-income country, access to AT can make a difference of $100,000 in lifetime income.

Altogether, providing AT to all who need it would yield more than USD 10 trillion in economic benefits over the next 55 years.

Investing in AT both has a transformative impact on people’s wellbeing and makes sound economic sense for funders and governments. 

Life Accomplishment, Social Functioning and Participation of South-Eastern Nigerians with Lower Limb Amputation

Akosile, Olusanjo Christopher
Okonkwo, Arinze Christian
Maruf, Adesina Fatai
Okoye, Chiebuka Emmanuel
2020

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Purpose: For a better understanding of the possible impact of impairments and disabilities on the life of individuals with lower limb amputation,it is important to explore the levels of Life Accomplishment (LA), Social Functioning and Participation (SFP) among them.The present study, set in South-Eastern Nigeria, aimed to study these levels and the influence of selected clinical and demographic variables on these constructs.

 

Method: This cross-sectional survey involved 60 individuals with lower limb amputation (46 unilateral, 14 bilateral) recruited from all the five South-Eastern Nigerian States. The Social Functioning Questionnaire (SFQ), Participation Scale and Life Habit Questionnaire were used for measuring levels of social functioning, social participation and life accomplishment, respectively. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics of frequency count, percentages, mean and standard deviation. Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to test the hypotheses. Alpha level was set at 0.05.

 

Results: Most of the participants (51.7%-58.3%) had low levels of social functioning across SFQ domains. Most of them (61.7%) had severe participation restrictions, and they all had reduced life accomplishments. Participants with bilateral amputation had poorer levels of social functioning (P<0.0001), participation restriction (P<0.0001), and life habits accomplishment (P<0.0001) than their counterparts with unilateral amputation. Individuals with below-knee amputation had significantly better levels of social functioning (P<0.0001) and participation (P<0.0001) than those with above-knee amputation. Participants with prosthetic mobility aids had significantly better levels of social functioning (P<0.0001) and participation (P<0.0001) than those with no prosthetic mobility aids. There was no significant difference in the levels of social functioning and participation between male and female participants, but female participants had statistically significant (P<0.0001) higher scores in nine out of twelve life habit domains than their male counterparts.

 

Conclusion and Implications: Low social functioning, severe participation restrictions, and reduced life accomplishments were prevalent among individuals with lower limb amputation, particularly amongthose with bilateral and above- knee amputations. There is a need to routinely evaluate the studied constructs among individuals with lower limb amputation. The provision of prosthetic aids may help to improve their levels of life accomplishment, social functioning and participation.

Effects of Biofeedback and Task-Oriented Intervention on Balance Confidence and its Relationship with Social Participation among Stroke Survivors

Pachiappan, Elumalai
2020

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Purpose: The study aimed to compare the effects of balance training on balance confidence and its relationship with social participation among clients with stroke.

 

Method: A pre- and post- experimental group design was used. Stroke survivors who met the inclusion criteria were consecutively assigned to two groups (task- oriented and biofeedback). Participants in the task-oriented group received task- oriented activities for 20 minutes and the biofeedback group received intervention in correckta (equipment used for balance training) for 20 minutes, along with conventional occupational therapy - 5 sessions per week, for 12 weeks. Balance Confidence Scale was used for measuring balance confidence, and Frenchay Activities Index (FAI) was used to measure social participation. Statistical calculations were performed with SPSS version 16.0 package. Statistical tests were carried out with the level of significance set at p≤ 0.05.

 

Results: The findings suggest that both the biofeedback and task-oriented groups showed significant improvement in balance confidence and there was no statistically significant difference between the groups. There was a moderate to good relationship between balance confidence and social participation.

 

Conclusions and Implications: There is evidence that many stroke survivors have low balance confidence. Therapists should assess the balance confidence of their clients and encourage them to participate in these beneficial interventions.

Training for the HandbikeBattle: an explorative analysis of training load and handcycling physical capacity in recreationally active wheelchair users

KOUWIJZER, Ingrid
VALENT, Linda J M
BENNEKOM, Coen A M van
HANDBIKEBATTLE group
POST, Marcel W M
WOUDE, Lucas H V Van Der
GROOT, Sonja de
November 2020

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Purpose: (1) to analyze training characteristics of recreationally active wheelchair users during handcycle training, and (2) to examine the associations between training load and change in physical capacity.

 

Methods: Former rehabilitation patients (N = 60) with health conditions such as spinal cord injury or amputation were included. Participants trained for five months. A handcycling/arm crank graded exercise test was performed before and after the training period. Outcomes: peak power output per kg (POpeak/kg) and peak oxygen uptake per kg (VO2peak/kg). Training load was defined as Training Impulse (TRIMP), which is rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) multiplied by duration of the session, in arbitrary units (AU). Training intensity distribution (TID) was also determined (time in zone 1, RPE ≤4; zone 2, RPE 5–6; zone 3, RPE ≥7).

 

Results: Multilevel regression analyses showed that TRIMPsRPE was not significantly associated with change in physical capacity. Time in zone 2 (RPE 5–6) was significantly associated with ΔVO2peak, %ΔVO2peak, ΔVO2peak/kg and %ΔVO2peak/kg.

 

Conclusion: Training at RPE 5–6 was the only determinant that was significantly associated with improvement in physical capacity. Additional controlled studies are necessary to demonstrate causality and gather more information about its usefulness, and optimal handcycle training regimes for recreationally active wheelchair users.

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