Evidence-Based Manual Wheelchair Prescription and Practice

By | Posted December 31, 1969

Atlanta, GA


This course is administered through Georgia Tech's Distance Learning and Professional Education division. Please visit the Ga. Tech DLPE site to  Register.

Course Description

This course is designed to bridge the gap between published research in the area of seating and mobility and clinical application of that knowledge by clinicians involved in manual wheelchair prescriptions. Topics to be covered include wheelchair features, postural stability, propulsion biomechanics, wheelchair configurations, wheelchair standards and letters of medical necessity. As part of this course, you will be asked to provide information about your clinical experience, manual wheelchair practices and knowledge of manual wheelchair technologies. The course is self-paced and can be completed on your own schedule. Additionally, a research project associated with this course will be offered in the Fall.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

* Discuss manual wheelchair frame types and features available to optimize function;
* Identify manual wheelchair configurations to maximize postural stability;
* Discuss efficient propulsion techniques;
* Discuss current research regarding repetitive strain injuries;
* Identify features available to decrease vibrations to the user;
* Discuss effects of wheel size and tire options on propulsion;
* Identify components of a wheeled mobility assessment;
* Identify necessary components of a letter of medical necessity.

Course Agenda

* Pre-test
* Welcome and Introduction
* Review of Manual Wheelchair Features
* Wheelchair Features Trials lab
* Current Postural Stability/Pressure Distribution Research
* Postural Stability and Pressure Relief Lab
* Current Wheelchair Propulsion Biomechanics/Repetitive Strain Injury Research
* Current Vibration/Shock Research
* Propulsion and Configuration Lab
* Durability/Cost, Wheelchair Standards
* Wheel Size, Rolling Resistance, Tire Option Research/Review
* Wheeled Mobility Assessment
* Case Studies
* Letters of Medical Necessity Components
* Reviewing LMNs - "How To"
* Case Studies and discussion
* Wrap-up and Post-test


Laura Cohen, PhD, PT, ATP is the Principal for Rehabilitation & Technology Consultants in Atlanta, GA. She coordinates the Clinician Task Force for the Coalition to Modernize Medicare Coverage of Mobility Products a leading group of seating and mobility clinicians working to influence Medicare policy with regards to mobility assistance equipment. As an affiliate clinical research scientist of the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), she works on projects with the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) for Wheeled Mobility. For the past 11 years she has provided second level review services for a third party payor reviewing DME requests in 21 states. Dr Cohen is appointed to the Chair of the Professional Standards Board for Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology and the editorial board for the journal Assistive Technology. Her research interest is to promote outcomes research designed to influence clinical practice and impact public policy.

Kim Davis, MSPT has been a physical therapist for 19 years, specializing in seating and wheeled mobility, in the areas of both service delivery and clinical research. She currently holds the position of Clinical Research Scientist at the Crawford Research Institute of Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA, through which she also works for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheeled Mobility at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research focus includes wheelchair seating, pressure ulcer detection and assessment, and clinical application of interface pressure mapping. She is a long term active member of RESNA, and is an instructor for RESNA's Centre for Continuing Education. She serves on the National Pressure Advisory Panel, representing RESNA as a Collaborating Organization, as well as serving on the RESNA Technical Standards Committee on Wheelchair and Related Seating.

Weerawat "Wat" Limroongreungrat PhD, PT, is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Division of Physical Therapy at Georgia State University. His primary research interests are in the area of biomechanics related to wheelchair locomotion, posture, balance and gait analysis.

Chris Maurer MPT, ATP is a physical therapist at Shepherd Center with over 12 years experience in rehabilitation working with individuals with a variety of diagnoses. She has spent the past 5 years practicing in the area of seating and mobility specializing in the area of spinal cord injury, traumatic head injury, multiple sclerosis and other degenerative neuromuscular diseases. Chris has lectured nationally and internationally on the topic of functional progression for people with spinal cord injuries and various topics in the area of seating and mobility. Chris is an investigator working on the RERC: Mobility in Everyday Life developing seating and wheeled mobility technologies and studying applications of these technologies in clinical practice.

Stephen Sprigle PhD, PT is trained as a biomedical engineer and physical therapist. He is currently the Director for the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access, an Associate Professor in the Departments of Industrial Design and Applied Physiology at Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Clinical Research Scientist at the Shepherd Center. Dr Sprigle is the principal investigator of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheeled Mobility. He serves on the Board of Directors for RESNA and the editorial board of Assistive Technology. His research interests include wheelchair seating and posture, pressure ulcer prevention, incipient pressure ulcer detection, standardized wheelchair cushion and support surface testing and assistive technology outcomes.