Fall Management in Wheelchair Users (FaMe)

We are conducting a study with full wheelchair and scooter users 18 years old and older to examine the effectiveness of a fall detection device designed specifically for wheelchair and scooter users. Falls are a common occurrence among wheelchair and scooter users. Studies show that around 30-50% of wheelchair users have experienced significant injuries resulting from a fall. In addition, research indicates that laying on the floor/ground for an extended time after a fall results in a greater risk of injury. Due to the injurious nature of falls, the development of a fall detection device specifically for wheelchair and scooter users is necessary. At this stage of development, we are testing the prototype we have made that can automatically detect falls.
The device will simply collect data and determine if the algorithm is able to detect falls. The participants will keep a log of a fall calendar to see if there are any instances where the device did not detect a fall. In the current phase of the study (Phase 3), we will give the prototype fall detection device to 20 participants to wear for 12 weeks. The prototype will record any falls you experience but should not be relied upon to summon assistance in the event of a fall. Participants will be asked to perform their normal activities of daily living while wearing the device. They will also be asked to fill out surveys related to their health history, community participation, quality of life and participate in an interview after wearing the device. Participants will be compensated $60 for participation.

To participate in this study, you must:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Use a wheelchair (power or manual) or scooter for at least 75% of your mobility
  • Have used a wheelchair or scooter for at least 1 year
  • Able to read and understand English
  • Self-reported fall history (at least 1 fall in the past 3 years)
  • Able to communicate with research staff through video conferencing software or telephone

If you are interested in participating, please contact us at: dpqol-lab@illinois.edu or 217-333-4650.