Community Health & Epidemiology Seminar Series

R. Lee Kirby, MD, FRCPC

Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University

Caregiver Training:  The Forgotten Dimension in Wheelchair Mobility​

​Synopsis: The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended an 8-step process for wheelchair service-delivery. One of those steps includes wheelchair-skills training, for which there is strong evidence of effectiveness. In addition to the value of such training with respect to increased capacity, there is growing evidence of an association between capacity and participation. There is also evidence for correlations between wheelchair-skills capacity and such economically important benefits as return to work and avoidance of placement in long-term-care facilities. Although caregivers are also an important contributor to wheeled mobility, they have received little attention in the literature. In this presentation, the speaker will review the limited literature that is available about caregiver training, will discuss the results of a recent online survey about such training in Nova Scotia and will describe a local randomized waitlist-controlled trial that is currently underway.

Biography: Dr. Kirby is a Professor in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie University with a cross-appointment in Community Health and Epidemiology. His primary research interest is the safety and performance of wheelchairs. He has held research grants from a number of national and international funding bodies. He has authored or co-authored 2 books and 160 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He heads the team that developed the Wheelchair Skills Program, a low-tech, high-impact training program that is relevant for both more- and less-resourced settings. 


Lectures, Seminars




CH&E Classroom, Room 409, Centre for Clinical Research, 5790 University Avenue, Halifax



Contact; 902-494-3860