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Title:Fall management among full time wheelchair users
Author(s):Sung, Jong Hun
Director of Research:Rice, Laura A
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rice, Laura A
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Sosnoff, Jacob J; Payne, Laura L; Bartlo, Wendy D
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Falls are a common health issue among full-time wheelchair users, however there is a lack of evidenced-based fall prevention and management strategies for wheelchair users. The main objective of this dissertation is to develop a fall management program for full-time wheelchair users. To develop a fall management program, a sequential exploratory mixed methods research study was implemented. The first phase of the study (Chapter 4) explored the circumstances surrounding falls, aftermath of falls, and fall recovery strategies among full-time wheelchair users. In phase 1, the qualitative interview data from 38 wheelchair users was analyzed. The results of phase 1 revealed many underlying factors associated with falls and potential fall prevention and recovery strategies including exercises to enhance sitting balance, wheelchair/transfer skill training, education on management of a variety of environmental hazards, education on wheelchair set-up/maintenance and the development of comprehensive fall recovery plans. In phase 2 (Chapter 5), a multifactorial fall management program, entitled Individualized Reduction of FaLLs (iROLL), was developed for full-time wheelchair and scooter users living with multiple sclerosis (MS) based on data obtained from phase 1 and previous literature. To examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of the intervention, participants underwent assessments to examine fear of falling, knowledge of fall prevention and recovery strategies, quality of transfer and wheelchair skills, and sitting balance before and after the 6-week intervention program. 13 wheelchair/scooter users living with MS (age: 59.2  10.3 years, 10 female) completed the post-intervention assessment following the 6-week intervention. The results revealed that fear of falling, which was evaluated by the spinal cord injury-fall concern scale, significantly decreased (p=0.022). Knowledge of fall prevention and recovery strategies, indexed by the fall management scale (p=0.008) and the fall prevention and management questionnaire (p=0.010), significantly improved. Finally, quality of transfer skills, evaluated with the transfer assessment instrument (p=0.034), improved significantly. No significant changes were found in wheelchair skills, as measured by the wheelchair skill test (p=0.551) or in sitting balance, evaluated with the function in sitting test (p=0.249). These preliminary results indicate that the iROLL program is effective in decreasing fear of falling, increasing knowledge of fall prevention and recovery, and improving quality of transfer skills. Future research is needed to examine the long-term impact of the program and the influence on fall frequency.
Issue Date:2019-07-08
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Jong Hun Sung
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08

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