Digital Validation of Design of Interventions


Date: 5/20/21

Credit: .1 CEU

Speakers: Dr. Alexander Siefert, PhD, SIMUSERV GmbH and Bart Van der Heyden, PT, SuperSeating

Funding and Public Policy, Beginner Level



The variations of wheelchairs, wheelchair seating options as well as seating adjustments provide more options for clients, but it has also made the selection process more difficult. As the prescription process becomes more complicated and funding agencies increasingly demand evidence to support the need for equipment, outcome measurement is becoming increasingly necessary.

The choice of frequently used seating interventions such as degree of back support recline, cushion angle and foot support height are often based on clinical experience in combination with user feedback about experienced comfort when trialing the wheelchair seating solution. This presentation will examine seating intervention considerations using the numerical Finite Element Analysis (FEA) approach and the Virtual Patient Model (VPM). The following elements will be evaluated – Pressure Imaging, friction at the cushion, internal tissue strains, as well as postural stability.

Learning Outcomes:

The participant will be able to list at least two benefits of using FEA for wheelchair intervention evaluation.

The participant will be able to list at least three measurable variables when varying the back-support angles, seat cushion angles and back support heights.

The participant will be able to list at least 2 consequences when changing the angles of secondary positioning devices supporting the pelvis from 45 degrees to 70 degrees to 90 degrees.

Bart is a physical therapist specialized in the field of seating, wound care and mobility for the past 25 years.  After studying physical therapy in Gent, Belgium, he gained experience in Germany providing seating and therapy for children with Cerebral Palsy.  After working in a rehab setting in the USA, he offered clinical consultations to wheelchair users, clinicians, and manufacturers worldwide.  He has also started a physical therapy practice with his wife in Belgium.

Bart has developed multiple training courses and workshops on skin management, seating assessment, seating techniques & interventions for different user populations.  He has presented for seating specialists all over the world and he developed a seating approach (Bart’s 5 seating steps) for clinical problem solving and maximizing outcomes.

Bart is known as a skilled and experienced clinician and presenter with a global, hands-on, and multi-disciplinary view on clinical practice and seating.