Low-intensity wheelchair training in inactive people with long-term spinal cord injury: A randomized controlled trial on fitness, wheelchair skill performance and physical activity levels.

JW van der Scheer, S de Groot, M Tepper, W Faber, DH Veeger, LHV van der Woude

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12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the effects of low-intensity wheelchair training on wheelchair-specific fitness, wheelchair skill performance and physical activity levels in inactive people with long-term spinal cord injury. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Participants: Inactive manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury for at least 10 years (n = 29), allocated to exercise (n = 14) or no exercise. Methods: The 16-week training consisted of wheelchair treadmill-propulsion at 30-40% heart rate reserve or equivalent in terms of rate of perceived exertion, twice a week, for 30 min per session. Wheelchair-specific fitness was determined as the highest 5-s power output over 15-m overground wheelchair sprinting (P5-15m), isometric push-force, sub maximal fitness and peak aerobic work capacity. Skill was determined as performance time, ability and strain scores over a wheelchair circuit. Activity was determined using a questionnaire and an odometer. Results: Significant training effects appeared only in P5-15m (exercise vs control: mean +2.0 W vs -0.7 W, p=0.017, r(u)=0.65). Conclusion: The low-intensity wheelchair training appeared insufficient for substantial effects in the sample of inactive people with long-term spinal cord injury, presumably in part owing to a too-low exercise frequency. Effective yet feasible and sustainable training, as well as other physical activity programmes remain to be developed for inactive people with long-term spinal cord injury.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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