History and format of these resources
These questionnaires and tests were developed and validated in partnership with many therapists and researchers. The initial goal was to provide feedback to wheelchair and prosthetic designers making assistive technology for use in low resource settings. These companies are great not-for-profits working with limited funds, and it is crucial that these companies know what works and does not work in the field. We have been able to provide data on through field studies. Several of the companies have made responsive changes. For more information on history and format, please watch this video.
Initially we tried to use existing outcomes tools but found that these were not designed for our purposes. We realized that we needed brief tools that did not require long term tracking since our partner therapists are busy people focused on helping their clients. The scale used needed to be intuitive, and the wording simple. The questions needed to be suitable for all assistive technology users no matter their level of disability. For example, If there was a difference in the function of two types of wheelchairs or of different parts of one type of wheelchair, we wanted to be able to describe that difference. For that reason, we designed a format to produce data suitable for analysis of variance. We wanted descriptive as well as numerical data, so comments were solicited with each question.
Over a period of ten years, the team developed four simple straightforward tools. Each is described below. These are not in any way meant to be clinical assessments. However, they are designed to provide validated data that can show evidence of needed changes to manufacturers and funders. Click the links below for more thorough descriptions and links to each resource.
This tool can be used to assess the condition of a wheelchair.
With regular use, it will provide evidence on which parts are likely to fail prematurely under conditions at the current location. This evidence serves as feedback for manufacturers to improve design and for technicians to anticipate the need for parts and repairs. More . . .
This test was developed to provide comparative effectiveness data on mobility facilitated by different wheelchair types. It's been used in studies in Kenya. We used it with Modular Rough Surface Units (link) so that the rough surfaces portion of this tool is describable and repeatable. Modular Rough Surface Units (MRSUs) generate a standardized surface roughness. More . . .
The Wheelchair Interface Questionnaire (WIQ) is a moment in time assessment based on the professional opinion of wheelchair service providers. Therapists with wheelchair training and experience have the most comprehensive background and depth of experience in the quality of the interface between a wheelchair user and his or her wheelchair. More . . .
The Wheelchair Satisfaction Questionnaire (WSQ) is designed to provide data about a wheelchair user's satisfaction with his or her wheelchair at a given moment in time. More . . .
This questionnaire was developed as a way for individuals to provide feedback on the function of their legs. This has been found helpful in studies involving those using orthotics and prosthetics. More . . .
Under-resourced settings typically have rough ground surfaces, making wheelchair travel difficult. Evaluating wheelchairs in settings similar to the conditions of use is essential to improving wheelchair design. However, testing on outdoor surfaces may produce inconsistent results due to weather conditions, terrains, and ground cover. The Modular Rough Surface Units (MRSUs) generate standard surface roughness for quantifiable and repeatable evaluation. More . . .