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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reliability and validity of the Wheelchair Outcome Measure Garden, Jennifer Anna


Study Design: Prospective test re-test study. Objectives: To examine the reliability and validity of the Wheelchair Outcome Measure (WhOM) and discuss its clinical implications. Background: Review of the literature indicates the need for a client-centred wheelchair outcome measurement tool that measures participation outcomes related to wheelchair use. To date there have been no studies of the reliability and/or validity of the WhOM. Methods and Measures: A total of 50 participants who had a spinal cord injury participated in the study. There were three time periods in which the participant was required to answer questions. During the first session, demographic information was collected and the WhOM was completed along with the four additional measures. During the second session, the WhOM satisfaction scores were measured again. The entire WhOM was re-administered during the third by a second rater. A relative reliability index (intra-class correlation coefficient, ICC2,1 for test re-test and ICC2.2 for inter-rater reliability) was employed. Rater agreement for identified WhOM participation outcomes was determined using Kappa coefficients. Spearman’s correlation coefficient was used to examine construct validity. Results: Test re-test agreements were high (ICC2,1: 0.90) and inter-rater agreements were high (ICC2,2: 0.90). Substantial agreement between raters for identified participation outcomes was achieved (K≥ 0.71). The subscale of assistive device scale of the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology (QUEST) demonstrated a positive relationship with the WhOM (r ≥ 0.65). Items on the Assessment of Life Habits (LIFE-H) demonstrated a positive relationship with the WhOM (r ranged from 0.51 – 0.62). Both the Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale and the Return to Normal Living Index failed to meet the hypothesis (r ≥ 0.50). Conclusion: The WhOM is a new and useful tool for clinicians and researchers who work in the field of wheelchair prescription and research. Test re-test and inter-rater agreements were high for individuals with a diagnosis of a spinal cord injury. Evidence of validity was demonstrated with the QUEST and items from the LIFE-H.

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