COSMIN database

Issues for the selection of wheelchair-specific activity and participation outcome measures: a review

Mortenson, W. B., Miller, W. C., and Auger, C.
OBJECTIVES: To use the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health as a framework to identify and to evaluate wheelchair-specific outcome instruments that are useful for measuring activity and participation.

DATA SOURCES: CINHAL, PsychInfo, EMBASE, Google Scholar, Dissertation Abstracts Medline databases, and conference proceedings.

STUDY SELECTION: Activity and participation measures that were specifically intended for adults who use wheelchairs and that were published in English in a peer-reviewed journal were included in this review. Based on electronic database searches using a variety of search terms, articles were identified by title, and appropriate abstracts were retrieved. Articles were obtained for all relevant abstracts. For peer-reviewed measures included in the review, we obtained any instruction manuals and related publications, frequently published in conference proceedings and theses or available electronically, on the development and testing of the measure.

DATA EXTRACTION: Tools included in the review were evaluated based on their conceptual coverage, reliability, validity, responsiveness, usefulness, and wheelchair contribution, which indicated how well the tool isolated the effect of the wheelchair on activity and participation outcomes.

DATA SYNTHESIS: A number of conceptual, psychometric, and applicability issues were identified with the 11 wheelchair-specific measures included in the review. A majority of the measures were mobility focused. No single tool received excellent ratings in all areas of the review. Some of the most frequent issues identified included a failure to account for differences attributable to different wheelchairs and wheelchair seating, limited psychometric testing, and high administrative and respondent burden.

CONCLUSIONS: Good reliability evidence was reported for most of the measures, but validity information was only available for 6 of the 11 measures, and responsiveness information for 3. This review suggests that these measures could be improved with further psychometric testing and with some modification to ensure that the contribution of the wheelchair to activity and participation outcomes is clearly identified.
Arch Phys Med Rehabil
1532-821X (Electronic)
Publication year:
Functional status:
Physical functioning
Role functioning
Social functioning
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Certain infections and parasitic diseases and related symptoms
Diseases of and symptoms related to the circulatory system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Diseases of and symptoms related to the nervous system
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases and related symptoms
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
Neoplasms and related symptoms
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
4 - Performance-based tests
6 - Clinical rating scales
7 - Observations
4 functional tasks
AML - Additional Mobility and Locomotor items assessment
FEW-Q - Functional Evaluation in a Wheelchair Questionnaire
OCAWUP - Obstacle Course Assessment of Wheelchair User Performance
PCDA - Power-mobility Community Driving Assessment
PIDA - Power-mobility Indoor Driving Assessment
Wheelchair Circuit
WhOM - Wheelchair Outcome Measure
WST - Wheelchair Skills Test
WUFA - Wheelchair Users Functional Assessment