Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Barbara Baker

Second Advisor

Jane Toot

Third Advisor

Thomas Herzog


Problem. Little data is available to aid physical therapists in writing functional wheelchair velocity goals. Purpose. This study begins to establish baseline data on wheelchair velocity. The authors hypothesize that there will be a significant relationship between a child's perceived function and their wheelchair velocity over a given distance. Methods. One female and 10 male community manual wheelchair users aged 11-17 completed 3 time trials of 150 feet on carpet with 1 minute rest between trials. Following the WRAT-R reading screen, the subjects completed a questionnaire about wheelchair function in the community. Results. A two-tailed significance test of the correlation between wheelchair velocity and overall perceived function proved insignificant, r(9) = {dollar}-{dollar}.0357, p =.917, and shows only one significant correlation between velocity and individual questions, r(9) = {dollar}-{dollar}.8126, p =.002. Conclusion. The author's hypothesis cannot be supported statistically, but the study points out the need for future research in the area of wheelchair velocity.


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