Impact of the TEAM Wheels eHealth manual wheelchair training program: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

PLoS One. 2021 Oct 13;16(10):e0258509. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0258509. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: Variable, and typically inadequate, delivery of skills training following manual wheelchair (MWC) provision has a detrimental impact on user mobility and participation. Traditional in-person delivery of training by rehabilitation therapists has diminished due to cost, travel time, and most recently social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19. Effective alternative training approaches include eHealth home training applications and interactive peer-led training using experienced and proficient MWC users. An innovative TEAM Wheels program integrates app-based self-training and teleconference peer-led training using a computer tablet platform.

OBJECTIVE: This protocol outlines implementation and evaluation of the TEAM Wheels training program in a randomized control trial using a wait-list control group.

SETTING: The study will be implemented in a community setting in three Canadian cities.

PARTICIPANTS: Individuals ≥ 18 years of age within one year of transitioning to use of a MWC.

INTERVENTION: Using a computer tablet, participants engage in three peer-led teleconference training sessions and 75-150 minutes of weekly practice using a video-based training application over 4 weeks. Peer trainers individualize the participants’ training plans and monitor their tablet-based training activity online. Control group participants also receive the intervention following a 1-month wait-list period and data collection.

MEASUREMENTS: Outcomes assessing participation; skill capacity and performance; self-efficacy; mobility; and quality of life will be measured at baseline and post-treatment, and at 6-month follow-up for the treatment group.

IMPACT STATEMENT: We anticipate that TEAM Wheels will be successfully carried out at all sites and participants will demonstrate statistically significant improvement in the outcome measures compared with the control group.

PMID:34644350 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0258509

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