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Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2022

Manual wheelchair biomechanics while overcoming various environmental barriers: A systematic review

Abstract

During manual wheelchair (MWC) locomotion, the user’s upper limbs are subject to heavy stresses and fatigue because the upper body is permanently engaged to propel the MWC. These stresses and fatigue vary according to the environmental barriers encountered outdoors along a given path. This study aimed at conducting a systematic review of the literature assessing the biomechanics of MWC users crossing various situations, which represent physical environmental barriers. Through a systematic search on PubMed, 34 articles were selected and classified according to the investigated environmental barriers: slope; cross-slope; curb; and ground type. For each barrier, biomechanical parameters were divided into four categories: spatiotemporal parameters; kinematics; kinetics; and muscle activity. All results from the different studies were gathered, including numerical data, and assessed with respect to the methodology used in each study. This review sheds light on the fact that certain situations (cross-slopes and curbs) or parameters (kinematics) have scarcely been studied, and that a wider set of situations should be studied. Five recommendations were made at the end of this review process to standardize the procedure when reporting materials, methods, and results for the study of biomechanics of any environmental barrier encountered in MWC locomotion: (i) effectively reporting barriers’ lengths, grades, or heights; (ii) striving for standardization or a report of the approach conditions of the barrier, such as velocity, especially on curbs; (iii) reporting the configuration of the used MWC, and if it was fitted to the subject’s morphology; (iv) reporting rotation sequences for the expression of moments and kinematics, and when used, the definition of the musculoskeletal model; lastly (v) when possible, reporting measurement uncertainties and model reconstruction errors.
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Dates and versions

hal-03703872 , version 1 (24-06-2022)

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Théo Rouvier, Aude Louessard, Emeline Simonetti, Samuel Hybois, Joseph Bascou, et al.. Manual wheelchair biomechanics while overcoming various environmental barriers: A systematic review. PLoS ONE, 2022, 17 (6), pp.1-21. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0269657⟩. ⟨hal-03703872⟩
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