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Pitt+Me Manual Wheelchair Virtual Coach: User Study


STUDY BASICS

Do you have a spinal cord injury and use an ultra-light manual wheelchair at least 40 hours per week? Do you use an Android smartphone? If so, you may be able to participate in a research study to help evaluate a new smartphone-based program designed to help manual wheelchair users manage pressure relief. Involves 2 in-person visits. Compensation provided.


STUDY PURPOSE

People who use manual wheelchairs are at an increased risk of developing skin wounds on the parts of the body that are in constant contact with the wheelchair. These types of skin wounds—called pressure ulcers, pressure sores, or bed sores—develop when continual pressure reduces the blood supply to the skin and eventually leads to skin breakdown. Wheelchair users can reduce the risk of developing skin wounds by changing positions, weight-shifting, and using special cushions, but many people still struggle with pressure injuries.

The purpose of this study is to collect feedback about a new smartphone-based coaching system called The Manual Wheelchair Virtual Coach (MWVC) that is being developed to help manual wheelchair users perform effective pressure reliefs and reduce the risk of pressure injuries. Researchers hope their findings will help to improve the current MW-VC prototype.


COULD THIS STUDY BE RIGHT FOR YOU?

•    Ages 18 and up
•    Have a spinal cord injury
•    Use an ultra-light manual wheelchair at least 40 hours per week
•    Independently able to perform a pressure relief (weight-shift or re-position themselves)
•    Own an Android smartphone and are willing to download the study app
•    No active or recent (within the past 30 days) pressure ulcer
•    Not hospitalized for more than 5 days in the previous month
•    No back, pelvic, or thigh pain that limits sitting
•    Weigh 250 pounds or less


WHAT PARTICIPANTS CAN EXPECT

This study involves two in-person visits, with the first lasting about 3 hours and the second lasting about 2 hours. After watching a demonstration and receiving training for the Manual Wheelchair Virtual Coach system, the participants will have the device installed on their personal wheelchair and download the app onto their smartphone. Participants will use the device for 5-7 days and provide feedback about the system.


IRB:
  STUDY19040193B - Usability Evaluation of Manual Wheelchair Virtual Coach

Age Range
AGE:   18 and Up

Duration DURATION:  About 5 hours total
VISITS:  2 visits

Location LOCATION: 
Human Engineering Research Laboratories at Bakery Square - Pittsburgh
Compensation COMPENSATION: 
Up to $50
Phone Number PHONE NUMBER:
1-866-438-8230
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Phone Number PHONE NUMBER:
1-866-438-8230

MEET THE RESEARCHER


Rory Cooper

Rory Cooper, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh. A graduate of The University of California at Santa Barbara, Dr. Cooper’s research interests include improving the lives of people with disabilities through advanced engineering in clinical research and medical rehabilitation.




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