Background: There is limited literature exploring the benefits of interactive wheelchair educational programs in medical student curricula. Objective: To identify the effect of an educational interactive wheelchair program on medical students' understanding of wheelchair use. Researchers hypothesized that the program would increase understanding. Design: Repeated-measures survey study with postintervention comparison. Setting: Inpatient acute rehabilitation center. Participants: Out of 123 eligible fourth-year medical students on a mandatory physical medicine and rehabilitation clerkship, 79 students participated. Intervention: All participants underwent a 2-hour educational wheelchair program consisting of (1) a disability lecture; (2) a video on the importance of proper wheelchair type and fit, wheelchair prescription, as well as recreational wheelchair use; and (3) an interactive wheelchair experience. Main Outcome Measures: Pre- and postsurvey Likert scale questions measured medical students' understanding of four main areas: (1) impact of manual wheelchair use, (2) challenges of manual wheelchair use, (3) manual wheelchair skills, and (4) wheelchair etiquette. Results: A two-tailed sign test demonstrated a highly significant increase from pre- to postsurvey scores in each survey section (P <.001). Presurvey and postsurvey mean scores for impact of manual wheelchair use, challenges of manual wheelchair use, manual wheelchair skills, and wheelchair etiquette survey sections were 3.9 and 4.4, 3.1 and 4.4, 2.4 and 4.4, and 2.5 and 4.0, respectively. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that an interactive educational wheelchair program effectively increases medical students' understanding of manual wheelchair use. The addition of an educational interactive wheelchair program to medical student curricula is recommended to improve medical students' understanding of manual wheelchair use and its impact on users.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology