Do you use a wheelchair as your primary means of mobility? If so, you may be able to participate in a research study to help find out if a new tool called WiSAT (Wheelchair in-Seat Activity Tracker) can help prevent the development of pressure ulcers. Eligible participants must have a smartphone. Compensation provided.
People who use wheelchairs are at an increased risk of developing pressure injuries on the parts of the body that are in constant contact with the wheelchair. These types of injuries—also called pressure ulcers, pressure sores, or bed sores—develop when continual pressure reduces the blood supply to the soft tissue of the body and eventually leads to tissue breakdown. Wheelchair users can reduce the risk of developing pressure injuries by changing positions, weight-shifting, and using special cushions, but many people still struggle with pressure injuries.
The purpose of this study is to help researchers find out if a new tool called WiSAT (Wheelchair in-Seat Activity Tracker) can help prevent the development of pressure ulcers by changing behaviors that can lead to pressure ulcers. WiSAT is designed to monitor and provide real-time feedback about weight shifts and pressure relief behaviors. Researchers plan to collect feedback from participants in order to improve the design of the WiSAT tool and hope their findings will lead to improved health for wheelchair users in the future.
COULD THIS STUDY BE RIGHT FOR YOU?
- Ages 18 and up
- Use a wheelchair as your primary means of mobility
- May or may not have had a pressure ulcer
- Use a smartphone with an operating system upgraded in the last 5 years
WHAT PARTICIPANTS CAN EXPECT
Participation involves 2 sessions lasting 1-2 hours each. During the initial in-person visit, participants will complete questionnaires and will be asked to install the WiSAT device on their wheelchair, install the WiSAT app on their phone, and use the WiSAT tool for the duration of the study. The second session can occur in-person or remotely, and involves removal and return of the WiSAT device and collecting participants’ feedback about the WiSAT system.
IRB:STUDY19090305 - Development of the Wheelchair in-Seat Activity Tracker (WiSAT)
MEET THE RESEARCHER
Patricia Karg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Ms. Karg’s research interests include assistive technology, including prevention of soft tissue injury and injury biomechanics.