The Mat Assessment: Where to Begin?


Credits: .1 CEU
Presenter: Barbara Crume, PT, ATP



The mat assessment is the most important second step in the process of evaluating a person for a new wheelchair and seating system. The first step is gathering medical and functional information regarding the person’s history, environment, functional status and current wheelchair issues and goals. Once this information is obtained and documented and you have established some rapport with the patient, you will now place your hands on the person to further assess their strength, ROM, movement patterns and postural tendencies. Assessment in supine and sitting is very important to determine flexibility and what external supports are required to provide postural alignment. ROM measurements are translated to the wheelchair frame set-up, including back angle, seat to lower leg angles, and types of seat cushions and back supports to trial. The measurements of the body when supported with correction are crucial to determining the final recommendations. This course will review all of the components of a complete mat assessment through a variety of case studies to demonstrate various tests and measures.

Learning Outcomes:
The participant will be able to identify and measure ROM of the UEs and LEs and relate these findings to wheelchair seating set-up.
The participant will be able to describe how to assess and document mobility of the pelvis and spine as well as body contours and postural tendencies in supine and sitting.
The participant will be able to recognize bony landmarks and describe how to measure the patient’s body for wheelchair seating.

Barbara Crume, PT, ATP, earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1982, became Pediatric NDT Certified in 1988 and RESNA Certified as an Assistive Technology Professional in 1997. She has been employed with CarePartners Health Services in Asheville, NC for over 32 years. Barbara provides evaluations, fittings and training for clients of all ages and all diagnoses to obtain manual and power wheelchairs with custom seating. She works closely with a variety of suppliers and consults with manufacturers on product development. She has presented courses at Medtrade, International Seating Symposium, RESNA Annual Conferences and APTA CSM. She has taught several webinars through NRRTS and RESNA. She is an active participant in the Coalition to Modernize Medicare Coverage of Mobility Products Clinician Task Force.