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Exercise and recreation for people with mobility impairments

The current issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) includes eight manuscripts that focus on evaluating and identifying safe exercise programs for people with mobility impairments, benefits of exercise programs for special populations, and other related issues. A supplement is also available with this issue that details the history of rehabilitation engineering from the perspective of its American pioneers. Below are abstracts of studies featured in Volume 39, Issue 6 of the journal. Full-text manuscripts are available, free of charge, on-line at www.vard.org/jour/02/39/6/Contents.html.

Vacuum-assisted prosthetic sockets maintain fit during exercise
Determines how a vacuum-assisted socket maintains fit during exercise. Sensors were attached to nine study participants with unilateral or transtibial limb amputations, which measured compressive and suction pressures on the residual limbs as they walked. Vacuum-assisted sockets drove less fluid out of the limb during stance (less compression) and drew more fluid in during swing (greater suction). Paper lends insight as to why the vacuum-assisted socket prevents the daily limb volume loss that can cause improper fit.

Walking and standing top priorities of people with spinal cord injury
Explores the viewpoint of persons with spinal cord injury regarding mobility and assistive devices. Ninety-four individuals with paraplegia were asked to prioritize their desire to stand, walk, climb stairs, or transfer. Respondents were also asked to identify the acceptable qualities of activities and to assess their willingness to experience risks to attain them. Top priorities were walking, then standing. The acceptable quality of new mobility activities did not have to be the same pre-injury. Those with more to gain were more willing to take risks to walk and stand.

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Contact: Judith LaVoie
Judith@vard.org
410-962-1800 x 229
VA Research Communications Service
9-Jan-2003


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