Who does Power Assist Really Assist? A series of case studies


Credits: .1 CEU
Presenter: Cathy Carver, PT, ATP/SMS and Penny Powers, MS, PT, ATP



Power assist technology has progressed significantly.Evidence reveals that repetitive stress injuries are a common impairment in manual wheelchair users.Goals common to all models of power assist technology are to decrease the muscular effort of the upper extremity in self-propulsion over a variety of surfaces/ terrains and to decrease pain and, ultimately, diminish the incidence of surgical intervention. This webinar is designed to provide a brief summary of power assist and manual wheelchair users who would benefit from this technology. The majority of the webinar will focus on a series of case studies from evaluation to final fitting and training with the device.We will present pros, cons, and justifications including rationale behind the selection of specific power assist models. Essential evaluation objective measures will be discussed along with funding considerations including documentation requirements.

Learning Outcomes:

The participant will be able to identify appropriate manual wheelchair users who are appropriate candidates for power assist.
The participant will be able to produce appropriate justification for power assist in order to obtain third party reimbursement.
The participant will be able to compare and contrast the leading manufacturer’s power assist technologies.

Penny J. Powers, MS, PT, ATP is a Level IV Physical Therapist at Pi Beta Rehabilitation Institute at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Ms. Powers is the lead PT for the Adult Seating and Mobility Clinic. Her practices involve specialty seating for a diverse adult population. She has had presentations accepted at national conferences including RESNA and APTA Combined Sections meetings as well as the International Seating Symposium. She serves as adjunct faculty at Belmont University, DPT program. She has had IRB approved research projects in collaboration with Belmont University for the past 7 years. Ms. Powers sustains membership in APTA including the Neuro Section and RESNA. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the Clinician Task Force.

Cathy Carver PT, ATP/SMS has practiced in adult neurology rehabilitation for over 20 years and for the past 8 years specializes in wheelchair and seating system service provision at Spain Rehabilitation Center/UAB in Birmingham, AL. She has been teaching wheelchair and seating courses around the state and nationally since 2007. Mrs. Carver is on the Executive Board for the Clinician Task Force, a member of RESNA, APTA (Neuro Section) and a friend of NRRTS.She is a consultant for Qualis Health and reviews medical necessity requests for custom wheelchairs.