Development of custom measurement system for biomechanical evaluation of independent wheelchair transfers

Alicia M. Koontz, Yen Sheng Lin, Padmaja Kankipati, Michael L. Boninger, Rory A. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study describes a new custom measurement system designed to investigate the biomechanics of sitting-pivot wheelchair transfers and assesses the reliability of selected biomechanical variables. Variables assessed include horizontal and vertical reaction forces underneath both hands and three-dimensional trunk, shoulder, and elbow range of motion. We examined the reliability of these measures between 5 consecutivetransfer trials for 5 subjects with spinal cord injury and 12 nondisabled subjects while they performed a self-selected sitting pivot transfer from a wheelchair to a level bench. A majority of the biomechanical variables demonstrated moderate to excellentreliability (r > 0.6). The transfer measurement system recorded reliable and valid biomechanical data for future studies of sitting-pivot wheelchair transfers.We recommend a minimum of five transfer trials to obtain a reliable measure of transfer technique for future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1028
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Activities of daily living
  • Assessment
  • Forces
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics
  • Range of motion
  • Reliability
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Three-dimensional motion analysis
  • Upper limb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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