Original Research

Development of the Wheelchair Interface Questionnaire and initial face and content validity

Karen Rispin, Abigail B. Davis, Vicki L. Sheafer, Joy Wee
African Journal of Disability | Vol 8 | a520 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v8i0.520 | © 2019 Karen Rispin, Abigail B. Davis, Vicki L. Sheafer, Joy Wee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 March 2018 | Published: 28 March 2019

About the author(s)

Karen Rispin, Department of Biology and Kinesiology, LeTourneau University, Longview, United States
Abigail B. Davis, Department of Biology and Kinesiology, LeTourneau University, Longview, United States
Vicki L. Sheafer, Department of Psychology, LeTourneau University, Longview, United States
Joy Wee, Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kingston, Canada


Background: Because resources are limited in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), the development of outcome measures is of interest. Wheelchair outcome measures are useful to support evidence-based practice in wheelchair provision.

Objectives: The Wheelchair Interface Questionnaire (WIQ) is being developed to provide a professional perspective on the quality of the interface between a wheelchair and its user. This article discusses the development of the WIQ and its face and content validity.

Method: During field studies in Kenya, we sought to include professional report data on the wheelchair–user interface that could be analysed to inform design changes. None of the existing measures was focused on the interface between users and their wheelchairs. The WIQ was developed to meet this need. To investigate face and content validity, 24 experienced wheelchair professionals participated in a study that included two rounds of an online survey and a focus group in Kenya.

Results: Responses were categorised by topic and the WIQ was modified following each iteration. Participants affirmed the usefulness of a brief professional report measure to provide a snapshot of the user–wheelchair interface. Participants emphasised the importance of brevity, wide applicability and provision of specific feedback for wheelchair modification or design changes. The focus group agreed that the final version provided useful data and was applicable to virtually all wheelchair users in LMIC.

Conclusion: These preliminary studies indicate initial face and content validity of the WIQ as a method for providing a professional perspective on the interface between a user and his or her wheelchair.


outcome measure; wheelchair assessment; user–wheelchair interface; wheelchair appropriateness; professional report


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Crossref Citations

1. Preliminary steps of the development of a Minimum Uniform Dataset applicable to the international wheelchair sector
María Luisa Toro-Hernández, Nancy Augustine, Padmaja Kankipati, Patricia Karg, Karen Rispin, Richard M. Schein, Krithika Kandavel, Megan E. D’Innocenzo, Mary Goldberg, Jonathan Pearlman, Sara Rubinelli
PLOS ONE  vol: 15  issue: 9  first page: e0238851  year: 2020  
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0238851