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This study evaluated the validity of two wheelchair-mounted devices—the Cateye® and Wheeler—for monitoring wheelchair speed and distance traveled. Speed estimates were validated against a calibrated treadmill at speeds from 1.5 to 10 km/hr. Twenty-five wheelchair users completed a course of known distance comprising a sequence of everyday wheelchair activities. Speed estimate validity was very good (mean absolute percentage error ≤ 5%) for the Wheeleri at all speeds and for the Cateye at speeds >3 km/hr but not speeds <3 km/hr (mean absolute percentage error > 20%). Wheeleri distance estimates were good (mean absolute percentage error < 10%) for linear pushing activities and general maneuvering but poor for confined-space maneuvering. Cateye estimates were good for continuous linear propulsion but poor for discontinuous pushing and maneuvering (both general and confined space). Both devices provided valid estimates of speed and distance for typical wheelchair-based exercise activities. However, the Wheeleri provided more accurate estimates of speed and distance during typical everyday wheelchair activities.
Karinharju, Gomersall, and Tweedy are with the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, and Gomersall and Yeo, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia. Karinharju is also with the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Pori, Finland. Clanchy is with the School of Allied Health Sciences and Menzies Health Inst. Queensland, Griffith University, Southport, QLD, Australia. Trost is with the Inst. of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland Centre for Children’s Health Research, Queensland University of Technology, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia.