Standing wheelchair study extended for two years

New funding allocated from the 2017 Walk to Save Our Sons will extend a ground-breaking project to explore the benefits of standing wheelchairs for a further two years. Since 2014 Save Our Sons Duchenne Foundation has funded this project that aims to provide evidence that can be used to justify government funding this expensive equipment for all boys (and rare girls) with Duchenne.

Perth-based researcher Dr Jenny Downs is leading this study at the Telethon Kids Institute, in collaboration with investigators at the children’s hospitals in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Preliminary results so far have been positive with regard to psychosocial benefits as reported by the nine children currently enrolled in the study and by their parents and teachers. The boys have said that they value highly being able to stand up to go to the toilet, being able to see when attending crowded social events and having increased independence around the home and school - standing when they want to and reaching objects and food.

This continued funding of the study will allow the researchers to measure the impact of standing wheelchair use on physical and mental health in a larger number of participants and over a longer period of time. The project has been granted $25,400 for the extra two years of research and Save Our Sons Duchenne Foundation also provides funding towards purchasing the chairs.

Study participants use the standing wheelchair for at least 60 minutes daily and the impacts are measured over a six-month period, with a follow-up after a further 12 months. A wide range of assessments are done during this time, including: bowel and bladder function, respiratory function, bone health, joint position, psychological outcomes and adverse events. The boys will keep the chairs after they have completed their participation in the study.

For further information on the Standing Wheelchair project, please contact Klair Bayley: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..