Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effects of modeling on the movement confidence of individuals with spinal cord injuries
by Perkins, Nathan, Ed.D., University of San Francisco, 2008, 101; 3317693
Abstract (Summary)

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reported that as of 2004, there are approximately 247,000 individuals living with a spinal cord injury in the United States. One of the most widely used tasks that individuals with spinal cord injuries may perform on a daily basis is a wheelchair transfer. A wheelchair transfer consists of an individual transferring to and from their wheelchair onto another surface. Depending upon the severity and the location of the injury, some individuals may not require any assistance whereas, others may require the assistance from another person and/or they may use adaptive devices such as a transfer board. Due to a variety of physical limitations that individuals may encounter as a result of a spinal cord injury, many individuals may lack the confidence to attempt and perform a wheelchair transfer. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of modeling on the movement confidence of individuals with spinal cord injuries. A quantitative experimental pretest and posttest design was employed for the study. Thirty-four adults with spinal cord injuries (29 paraplegics, 5 tetraplegics, 28 males, 6 females, M= 41.03 yrs old, SD = 13.84, level of injuries from C4 to L4-L5) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions. Within the peer modeling condition, 17 participants viewed a 5-minute videotape of an individual (peer model) with a spinal cord injury performing four wheelchair transfer tasks. Within the teacher model condition, 17 participants viewed a 2-minute videotape of an adapted physical education teacher (teacher model) demonstrating the same tasks. Prior to and after observing the videotapes, all participants were instructed to complete a pretest and posttest for level of movement confidence regarding the four modeled wheelchair transfer tasks. In addition, a questionnaire regarding the videos and related wheelchair transfer tasks was administered to all participants following the videos. It was hypothesized that participants in the peer model condition would have more confidence to perform a wheelchair transfer as a result of observing a peer model, in comparison to participants in the teacher model condition observing a teacher model. The results of the study suggested that both groups were highly confident on the pretest and the posttest for overall movement confidence as well as for each task, and therefore no statistically significant differences between the two modeling conditions were found. In addition, the wheelchair to and from bed transfer was performed the most among participants on a daily basis. Also, participants indicated that the trial by error method of learning how to perform a wheelchair transfer was the method used the most when learning to perform a wheelchair transfer in the past. In conclusion, modeling was not found to have an effect on either group regarding their level of movement confidence when performing wheelchair transfers, but this was likely due to the high initial confidence level in the sample. Despite that finding that modeling had no effect on either groups' level of movement confidence, the vast amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that individuals with spinal cord injuries may lack the confidence to perform a situation specific task such as a wheelchair transfer, and that observing a peer model performing a wheelchair transfer may increase the level of movement confidence as a end result. Future studies need to carefully assess the pre study confidence levels of participants.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Burns, Robert
School: University of San Francisco
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 69/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physical therapy, Health education
Keywords: Modeling, Movement confidence, Paraplegics, Spinal cord injuries, Tetraplegics, Wheelchair transfers
Publication Number: 3317693
ISBN: 9780549657354
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