In Canada there are 23,160 children who have mobility disability and these numbers are on the rise due to medical and technological advances. Children with mobility disability experience significant limitations in participation (e.g., play and school activities) and may also miss achievement of developmental milestones (e.g., spatial cognition and social development). Power mobility can mitigate the effects of immobility through improved social interaction, communication, initiation, exploration, and independence. Despite these benefits, it is an often overlooked solution that may be explained, in part, by the lack of a pediatric power mobility skills training program, and lack of novel training strategies that can supplement traditional 1:1 clinical training. The goal of this program of research is to enhance pediatric power mobility wheelchair skills training.
Two projects will be conducted to accomplish this goal. In the first project, we are developing and testing a pediatric power mobility skills training program. This study will advance our understanding of power mobility training for children and improve our training methods. In the second study, we are developing and testing a serious video game for pediatric power mobility training. This video game may offer a promising cost, time, and treatment effective delivery model for pediatric power mobility skills training that is engaging and motivating for the child. Together, these projects may improve pediatric power mobility clinical practice. It will ultimately improve the power mobility skills of children and, in turn, their health, functioning, and quality of life.