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Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):

, 99, 1, 9-16, 16.e1-16.e10

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Study assessed the efficacy of a web-based transfer training module on the performance of independent wheelchair transfers immediately after training and after a 1- to 2-day delay and identified subject characteristics that predict improvements in transfer ability after training. Seventy-one manual and power wheelchair users who could transfer independently were randomized to 3 groups: web-based training, in-person training (current standard of practice), and a waitlist control group (WLCG). The WLCG received the web training at their follow-up visit. The Transfer Assessment Instrument (TAI) part 1 score was used to assess transfers at baseline, skill acquisition immediately after training, and skill retention after a 1- to 2-day follow-up period. Results showed the in-person and web-based training groups improved their median TAI scores from 7.98 to 9.13, and from 7.14 to 9.23, respectively, compared with the WLCG that had a median score of 7.69 for both assessments. Participants retained improvements at follow-up. A lower initial TAI score was found to be the only significant predictor of a larger percent change in TAI score after receiving training. The results indicate that transfer training can improve technique with changes retained within a short follow-up window, even among experienced wheelchair users. Web-based transfer training demonstrated comparable improvements to in-person training.