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Explore Karen's Research

The Wheels Project

The goal of the Wheels Project is "to improve the lives of people with disabilities by providing feedback to wheelchair manufacturers specializing in low resource settings." Karen, her students, and other professionals conducted research in Kenya and on campus. Questionnaires and tests used to assess wheelchair condition, wheelchair mobility, and lower limb function will be useful to researchers, technicians and therapists.

Much of the research conducted by Karen and the Wheels team was published in peer-reviewed journal articles and also presented at conferences and symposia. The following articles and presentations are available online.

Journal Publications

Rispin, K., Davis, A. B., Sheafer, V., Wee. Development of the Wheelchair Interface Questionnaire and initial face and content validity. African Journal of Disability, vol. 8, 2019.

 Rispin, K., Riseling, K., Wee, J. (2018). A Longitudinal Study Assessing the Maintenance Condition of Cadres of Four Types of Wheelchairs Provided in Low-Resource Areas. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, vol. 13. no. 2, pp. 146-156.

Rispin, K., Huff, K., Wee J. (2017). Test–retest reliability and construct validity of the Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test as a measure of the mobility of wheelchair users, African Journal of Disability; Vol 6, pp. 1-6.

Rispin, K., Hamm, E., Wee, J. (2017). Discriminatory validity of the Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test as demonstrated by a comparison of four -+wheelchair types designed for use in low-resource areas, African Journal of Disability; Vol 6, pp. 1-11.

Rispin, K., DiFrancesco, J., Raymond, L., Riseling, K., Wee, J. (2017).  Preliminary inter-rater reliability of the wheelchair components questionnaire for condition, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, vol. 13. no. 6. pp. 552-557. 

Rispin, K., Dittmer, M., McLean, J., Wee, J. (2017). Preliminary Reliability and Internal Consistency of the Wheelchair Components Questionnaire for Condition, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, vol. 12 no. 8. pp. 853-856. 

Funk, L., Thiessen, D., Wright, V., Andrysek, J., Rispin, K. (2017). Reliability and Validity of the Lower Limb Function Questionnaire When Completed by Young Adult Orthotic and Prosthetic Device Users, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology  vol. 12. no. 3, pp. 262-271

Kamaraj, D. C., Bray, N., Rispin, K., Kankipati, P., Pearlman, J., & Borg, J. (2017). A conceptual framework to assess effectiveness in wheelchair provision, African Journal of Disability, vol. 6, pp. 1-5.

Sasaki, K., Rispin, K. 2017). Assessment of Physiological Performance and Perception of Pushing Different Wheelchairs on Indoor Modular Units Simulating a Surface Roughness Often Encountered in Under-Resourced Settings, Assistive Technology, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 173-180. 

Rispin, K., Wee, J. “Comparison Between Performances of Three Types of Manual Wheelchairs Often Distributed in Low-Resource Settings,” Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 146-156. 

Rispin, K., Wee, J. (2013). A Paired Outcomes Study Comparing Two Pediatric Wheelchairs for Low Resource Settings; the Regency Pediatric Wheelchair and a Similarly Sized Wheelchair Made in Kenya. Assistive Technology. vol. 26. no. 2. pp. 88-95.

Peer Reviewed Conference Papers

Hamilton, E., Zwerg, C., Rispin, K. (2019). 'The Interaction of Wheelbase and push handle Forces for Novice Wheelchair Pushers," Proceedings or the 35th Annual International Seating Symposium. Rehab Week and RESNA, Toronto, June 24-28, paper 77. 

McMichael, M., Riseling, K., Rispin, K. (2019). "Inter-rater Reliability of the Wheelchair Components Questionnaire between Multicultural Wheelchair Professionals," Proceedings or the 35th Annual International Seating Symposium. Rehab Week and RESNA, Toronto, June 24-28, paper 78.

Davis, A.B., Sheafer, V., Rispin, K. (2019). "Inter-rater Reliability of the Wheelchair Interface Questionnaire." Pittsburgh, March 20-23, Paper PS5.1.

Rispin, K., Davis, A.B., Dottle, N., Noble, J. (2018). “Using the Wheelchair Components Questionnaire for Condition and the Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test to Assess Manual Wheelchairs: A Practical Workshop,” Proceedings of the 34th International Seating Symposium. Paper ID-ISEE5, p. 180.

Rispin, K., Dottle, N. (2018). “A Comparative Study of Aspects of Mobility Provided by Four Wheelchair Types Designed for Use in Low-Resource Settings,” Proceedings of the 34th International Seating Symposium. Paper ID -P14, p. 219. 

Rispin, K., DiFrancesco, J. (2017). "Inter-rater reliability of the wheelchair components questionnaire." Proceedings of the 33rd International Seating Symposium. Paper ID-PS 7.1. pp. 31-32. 

Rispin, K., Huff, K. (2017). “Reliability of the Wheelchair Mobility Protocol,” Proceedings of the 33rd International Seating Symposium. Paper ID-PS 7.4. p. 32. 

Sasaki, K., Rispin, K. (2016). “Evaluation of Wheelchair Pushing Performance on Simulated Rough Pathways in Under-Resourced Settings Created with Indoor Modular Units,” Annual meeting of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology. Paper-ID 86, pp 1-4. 

Rispin, K., Tutt, E., Sosa-Saenz, S. (2016). “Reliability and Discriminatory Ability of the Wheelchair Components Questionnaire for Users,” Annual meeting of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology. Paper-ID 107, pp 1-4. 

Rispin, K., Hamm, E. (2016). "Discriminatory Validity of the Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Protocol." European Seating Symposium.

Rispin, K., Dittmer, M., McLean, J., Wee, J., (2016). "Reliability and Sensitivity of the Wheelchair Components Questionnaire for Condition." Proceedings of the 32nd Annual International Seating Symposium. Paper ID SPS2lii. pp. 125-127. 

McCasland A., Trogdon D., Rispin, K. (2015). "The Effect of Out-of-Round Wheels versus True Round Wheels on Energy Costs of Pushing a Wheelchair." International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol. 2, no. 7.

Hamm, E., Jonah, B., Rispin, K. (2015). "Comparative Study on the Energy Cost of Pushing the Hope Haven KidChair and Free Wheelchair Mission Gen 2 Wheelchair." Available in International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol. 2, no. 7, 2015.

Rispin, K., Dittmer, M. (2015). “Ease of Pushing Two Wheelchairs Designed for Low-Resource Settings,” Proceedings of the 31st Annual International Seating Symposium. Paper ID PS8.1, p. 227.

Andrysec, J., Wright, V.,Rispin, K. (2015). “Assessing the Test-Retest Reliability of the Lower Limb Function Questionnaire (LLFQ).” Proceedings of the World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics Orthotics. Available in Prosthetics Orthotics International, vol. 39, no.1.

Wee, J., Rispin, K. (2015). “Piloting the Wheelchair Components Questionnaire for triangulation purposes,” Proceedings of the Canadian Association of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Funk, L., Thiessen, D., Wright, V., Andrysec, J., Rispin, K. (2015). "Preliminary Construct Validation of the Lower Limb Function Questionnaire." Proceedings of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, Annual Conference. Paper ID 94. pp. 1-4.

Reese, N., Rispin, K. (2015). "Assessing Wheelchair Breakdowns in Kenya to Inform Wheelchair Test Standards for Low-Resource Settings." Proceedings of the Annual meeting of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America.  

Sturm, M., VanLeer, J., Lowe, N., Rispin, K. (2013). "Preliminary Data Regarding how Wheelchair Axle Position Effects the Energy Cost of Assistants Pushing Wheelchairs Designed for Low-Resource Settings." Available in International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol. 2, no 5..

Leman, N., Lowe, N., McDonne, l A., Rispin, K. (2013). "Cost of Rolling on Rough and Smooth Ground for Assistants Pushing the Motivation Rough Terrain and Whirlwind RoughRider Wheelchairs." Available in the International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol. 2, no. 5.

McDonnel, A., Leman, N., Tutt, E., Rispin, K. (2013.) "Using Curb and Figure-Eight Skills Tests to Compare Maneuverability of the user assistant team in the Motivation Rough Terrain Wheelchair and the Whirlwind RoughRider Wheelchair." Available in the International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol. 2, no. 5. 

Rispin, K., Goodwin, S., Wesley, C., Wee, J. (2013). "Preliminary Development and Validation of the Wheelchair Parts Questionnaire for Use to Assess the Condition of Individual Wheelchairs and the Design of Types of Wheelchair." Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. Paper ID 63, pp. 1-4.

Rispin, K., Huff, K., Parra, V., Wesley, C., Wee, J. (2013). "An Overview of a Group of Studies Done in Kenya Comparing Two Types of Pediatric Wheelchairs with 14 Inch Wide Seats." Proceedings for the RESNA 2013 Annual Conference, Paper ID 62, pp. 104.

Rispin K., Schein R., Wee, J. (2013). "A Modification of the Functional Mobility Assessment for use with School Children in Kenya." Proceedings for the 29th International Seating Symposium.

Goodwin, S.R., Inwards, R., Rispin, K. (2012). "A Comparative Study of the Energy Cost and Maneuverability for Pushers of Hope Haven and APDK Pediatric Wheelchairs Designed for Use in Low Income Countries." Available in the International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol. 2, no. 4.

Ott, A., Rispin, K. (2012). "Comparing Energy Cost and Maneuverability for Pushers of Regency and APDK Pediatric Wheelhairs Designed for Low-Income Countries." Available in the International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol. 2, no. 4.

VanLeer, J., Rispin, K., Harris, D., Dueck, M., Green, M. (2012). Using a Lego© NXT Robotic Vehicle as a Constant Speed Device in Replacement of a Wheelchair Treadmill for use in Determining Physical Cost Index of Pushing a Wheelchair. Available in the International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol. 2, no. 4.  

Rispin, K., Geyman, T., Nemati, S., Wee J. (2012). "A Long Term Paired Outcomes Study of Regency and APDK Pediatric Wheelchairs Designed for Less-Resourced Settings." Proceedings of the 29th International Seating Symposium.

Rispin, K., Nemati, S., Geyman, T., Wee, J., (2012). "A Short-term Paired Outcomes Study of Maneuverability and Energy Cost of Rolling of Two Pediatric Wheelchairs Designed for Less-resourced Settings." Proceedings for the 29th International Seating Symposium. p. 296.

Huff, K., Parra, V., Rispin, K. (2012). A Comparative Study of Two Pediatric Wheelchairs Based on Therapists' Feedback," International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol.2, no. 4. 

Brady, J., Leman, N., Rispin, K. (2012). Gait Evaluation of Young Adults Wearing a Bledsoe-Extender-Plus© Knee Brace at Two Different Degrees of Flexion, Available in the International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Abstract Submissions, vol. 2, no. 4. 

Rispin, K., Schlung, J., Gonzalez, R., Ayers, S. (2011). "Preliminary Validation of the LEGS Functional Parameters Questionnaire." Proceedings of the annual meeting of FICDAT and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society. 

Rispin, K., Husk, C., Lew, S., Schufeldt, T., Ayers, S., Gonzalez, R. (2010). "Functional Comparison of the LEGS M1 Knee to Commonly Available Developing World Alternatives." Conference Proceedings, 13th World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Additional Resources

Questionnaires and tests to assess wheelchair condition, wheelchair mobility, and lower limb function can be found here.