Analyzing wheelchair mobility patterns of community-dwelling older adults

Amol M. Karmarkar, Rory A. Cooper, Hongwu Wang, Annmarie Kelleher, Rosemarie Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study determined and compared wheelchairmobility patterns for older adults during an organized sporting event and within their community. In July 2008, 39 veterans participating in the 28th National Veterans Wheelchair Games (Omaha, Nebraska) completed the study. Of these, 26 were manual wheelchair and 13 were power wheelchair users. We collected wheelchair-related mobility data using wheelchair data-logging devices. Participants were significantly more active using manual wheelchairs during the games than when using their wheelchairs in their homes in terms of distance traveled (4,466.2 vs 1,367.4 m, p < 0.001) and average speed of propulsion (0.76 vs 0.64 m/s, p < 0.001). The trend was the same for power wheelchair users, with respect to distance (7,306.2 vs 3,450.5 m, p = 0.004) and average speed (0.9 vs 0.7 m/s, p = 0.002). This study demonstrates an objective method of evaluating wheelchair use in community-dwelling older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1077-1086
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2011


  • Community participation
  • Data logger
  • Environ-ment
  • Manual wheelchair use
  • National veterans wheelchair games
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Power wheelchair use
  • Wheelchair mobility
  • Wheelchair provision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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