Telerehabilitation Assessment Using the Functioning Everyday With a Wheelchair-Capacity InstrumentBy Schein, Richard M.; Schmeler, Mark R.; Holm, Margo B.; Pramuka, Michael; Saptono, Andi; Brienza, David M.; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 115-124
Publication Date: 2011
Study explored the interrater reliability between a generalist practitioner administering the Functioning Everyday with a Wheelchair-Capacity (FEW-C) outcome instrument in person (IP) and a remote expert practitioner observing via telerehabilitation (TR) from more than 100 miles away. The FEW-C is defined as a criterion referenced, performance based observation tool used to measure functional outcomes of wheeled mobility and seating users, focusing on users’ ability to perform 10 tasks in a controlled clinical or laboratory environment. The 46 study participants were 25 manual wheelchair, 18 power wheelchair, and 3 scooter users ranging in age from 22 to 89 years. Each participant was simultaneously rated by both the IP and TR practitioner, who were masked to each other’s results. The TR practitioner observed participants via the Versatile and Integrated System for Telerehabilitation (VISYTER), an Internet Protocol based videoconferencing system developed within the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on TR. The IP-TR raters demonstrated excellent interrater reliability, with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.91 for the total FEW-C and 0.96, 0.88, and 0.90 for the constructs of independence, safety, and quality, respectively. Internal consistency, using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, was 0.94 for the total FEW-C tool and 0.91, 0.83, and 0.82 for independence, safety, and quality, respectively, indicating good internal consistency without redundancy. Using TR and FEW-C, an expert practitioner more than 100 miles away was able to accurately gauge the functional mobility needs of clients being assessed for new wheeled mobility devices.
VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (Web Site: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov )
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