Sitting Pressure in the Tilted Position: Manual Tilt-in-Space Wheelchair vs. Manual Wheelchair with a New Rear Antitip Device

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MacDonald B, Kirby RL, Smith C, MacLeod DA, Webber A: Sitting pressure in the tilted position: Manual tilt-in-space wheelchair vs. manual wheelchair with a new rear antitip device. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2009;88:61–65.

To test the hypothesis that, in comparison with a heavier, larger and more expensive manual tilt-in-space wheelchair, a lightweight manual wheelchair equipped with new rear antitip devices provides comparable mean sitting pressures in the tilted position, each of eight able-bodied participants sat for 8 mins in each wheelchair, upright, and tilted back (38–39 degrees). The mean (±SD) sitting pressures (of all active sensors in a force-sensing array) at the eighth minute in the upright and tilted positions with the new rear antitip device wheelchair were 58.6 (±14.0) and 45.8 (±9.3) mm Hg (a 20.7% reduction) (P = 0.005). For the tilt-in-space wheelchair, the mean values were 55.7 (±13.9) and 47.2 (±10.8) mm Hg (a 26.3% reduction) (P = 0.008). There were no significant differences between the wheelchairs in the upright (P = 0.843) or tilted (P = 0.624) positions. A lightweight manual wheelchair equipped with a new rear antitip device provides equivalent reductions of sitting pressures in the tilted position to a comparably tilted tilt-in-space wheelchair.

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