Anthropometrics (body measurements) of people with physical impairments in Australia: a protocol and pilot study

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Pont, K, Innes, E, Yoxall, JS, Pennisi, Y, Zhou, S & Blake, A 2013, 'Anthropometrics (body measurements) of people with physical impairments in Australia: a protocol and pilot study', paper presented to Occupation Therapy Australia 25th National Conference & Exhibition, Adelaide, South Australia, 24-26 July.


Introduction: Well-designed mobility and personal care aids that meet the physical and functional needs of users can significantly increase independence and quality of life. However many users of assistive devices report problems or inadequacies with the equipment. The availability and design of mobility and personal care aids suitable for people with physical impairments does not reflect the anthropometry (body measurements) of this population. Traditional anthropometric measurement protocols are not suitable for people with movement limitations, nor are there any standardised protocols for anthropometric measurement of people with physical impairments. Objectives: To develop and pilot a protocol for taking anthropometric and range of motion (ROM) measurements for people with a range of physical impairments. Method: Protocol development, content and construct validity, and inter-rater reliability study. Informed by standard anthropometric measurement protocols and academic literature, a protocol for anthropometric measurement for people with movement limitations was developed. Passive range of motion, two dimensional photographic techniques and modified traditional techniques (i.e. callipers) for anthropometric measurement of commonly used measures were conducted on people with moderate to severe movement limitations. Results: Two-dimensional photographic and modified traditional techniques of anthropometric measurement will be compared for: client comfort, ease of protocol use, accuracy and reliability of measurements.