Purpose : The Arm propelled three wheeled chair (APTWC) is in common use in
the economically poor countries for outdoor ambulation. the propulsion for
ce of which is exerted by arm cranking in asynchronous fashion. The purpose
of the study was to assess the ambulatory performance of the users of the
device using heart rate as a control index, at graded speeds.
Method: Fifteen regular users of APTWC male with paraplegia and poliomyelit
is were ambulated at seven different graded speeds in outdoor settings and
the resting and ambulatory heart rate was measured during steady state and
then physiological cost index and comfortable speed of propulsion was compu
Results: The physiological strain, linear regression of the relationship be
tween heart rate and speed with correlation coefficient of r = 0.86 (p < 0.
001), polynomial regression of the relationship between physiological cost
index (PCI) and speed with correlation coefficient of r = 0.83 (p < 0.001)
and comfortable speed of propulsion (120 m/min) was reported.
Conclusions: Heart rate can be used to evaluate the ambulatory performance
of the device, quantifying energy economy for outcome evaluation and decisi
on making for clinical recommendation.