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Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):

, 103, 4, 807–815


Objective: To determine the effectiveness of a web-based, direct-to-user transfer training program in improving transfer quality and maintaining improvements for up to 1 month after training as compared with a control group.

Design: Randomized controlled trial with participants randomized to an immediate intervention group (IIG) or waitlist control group (WLCG) that received the training after a 6-month delay.

Setting: Wherever the participants accessed the web-based training, likely the home environment.

Participants: Convenience sample of full-time wheelchair users (N=72; IIG, n=34; WLCG, n=38 for between-group analysis, n=48 for combined within-group analysis) with spinal cord injury or disorder who were able to independently perform a lateral scoot transfer.

Interventions: Self-paced, web-based transfer training module.

Main outcome measures: Transfer Assessment Instrument Questionnaire (TAI-Q) score at baseline, 1 month, and 6 months postbaseline (WLCG only), immediately posttraining, and 1 month posttraining. The TAI-Q is an 18-item self-assessment that covers several aspects of a quality transfer.

Results: The IIG significantly increased particpants' baseline TAI-Q score from 6.91±0.98 to 7.79±1.12 (P<.001) by 1 month posttraining. The WLCG also increased from baseline to the 1-month postbaseline assessment (from 6.52±1.13 to 7.00±1.09; P=.014), potentially from learning effects secondary to self-assessment with the TAI-Q. The extent of change over time did not differ significantly between the IIG and WLCG from baseline to 1 month (P=.169). However, significant improvements in TAI-Q scores were still evident after the training for the WLCG (P<.001). Those with a lower pretraining TAI-Q score and more shoulder pain were most likely to benefit from the training.

Conclusions: Repeated TAI-Q self-assessments likely contributed to improved transfer quality, with web-based training having an additive effect. Wheelchair users are likely to benefit from transfer training and self-assessment of transfer quality in their home environments. This has the potential to decrease injury risk while avoiding barriers to in-person training.


Stephanie K Rigot, Kaitlin M DiGiovine, Michael L Boninger, Rachel Hibbs, Ian Smith, Lynn A Worobey