Investigation of independent transfers and injury prevention among individuals with SCI

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Transfers are an essential activity for wheelchair users that have been linked to injury. Unfortunately, transfer training materials are lacking and the science behind existing materials is weak. Our site specific project will use innovative musculoskeletal ultrasound (US) techniques and the transfer assessment instrument (TAI), both developed by UPMC-SCI investigators, to gain further insight into the relationship between independent transfer technique and musculoskeletal injuries. Using information from this study and other ongoing work, we will develop two sets of web-based training materials. One set will be focused on providing clinicians with the training needed to teach individuals with SCI good transfer technique. The other set of materials will be targeted directly at individuals with SCI, thus enabling independent learning. Both will be developed in an iterative process and will be based on the best science available. We will then conduct a randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of the materials.