NINDS CDE Notice of Copyright
Wheelchair Circuit
The Wheelchair Circuit is freely available in the following publication:
For more information about this instrument, please visit: Wheelchair Circuit
Exploratory: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and SCI-Pediatric (age 5 and over)
Short Description of Instrument
Construct measured: Wheelchair Mobility
Generic vs. disease specific: Disease specific
Means of administration: Administered by a clinician
Intended respondent: Participant
# of items: 9
# of subscales and names of sub-scales: 3, tempo, technical skill, and physical capacity
Comments/Special Instructions
Background: The test was developed to measure manual wheelchair mobility (skill and performance). It was developed for SCI.
There are 9 items, which cover 3 aspects of mobility:
1)  Tempo (tasks = figure-of-8 shape and sprint)
2)  Technical skill (tasks = crossing a doorstep, mounting a platform, and transferring)
3)  Physical capacity (tasks = wheelchair propulsion and ascending slopes)
This is a performance-based measure intended to be administered by a clinician. During each of the following tasks, performance time, distance, or successful completion are recorded. There is a resting time of 2 minutes between each task.
Some psychometric testing has been conducted for the SCI population. Reliability: Intra-rater reliability for the total WC (ICC=0.98), for both individual tasks (ICC=0.71–0.99), and for record peak heart rate during tasks (ICC=0.68–0.96); Inter-rater reliability for the total WC (ICC=0.97), individual tasks (ICC=0.76–0.98), and record peak heart rate during tasks (ICC=0.82–0.99). Validity: The total ability score and performance time score significantly correlate to the FIM mobility subscale score, peak power output, and VO2 peak. Responsiveness: Standardized response means have been calculated between start of rehabilitation program and discharge: 0.6 for Ability score; 0.9 for Performance time score; and 0.8 for Physical strain score.
Appropriate for acute, subacute and chronic injury.
Kilkens OJ, Dallmeijer AJ, De Witte LP, Van Der Woude LH, Post MW. The Wheelchair Circuit: Construct validity and responsiveness of a test to assess manual wheelchair mobility in persons with spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;85(3):424–431.
Kilkens OJ, Post MW, van der Woude LH, Dallmeijer AJ, van den Heuvel WJ. The wheelchair circuit: reliability of a test to assess mobility in persons with spinal cord injuries. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002;83(12):1783–1788.
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