Effects of Adapted Tricycles on Quality of Life, Activities, and Participation in Children with Special Needs
Hayden, Denay M.
Children with special needs participate in less physical activity than the typically developing child. Physical activity and participation within activities is essential for a child’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Riding a bicycle is a typical childhood milestone that many children with special needs are unable to achieve. The American Business Clubs (AMBUCS), a non-profit organization, strives to create mobility and independence for those with disabilities. Through a local chapter of this organization, ENC Ambucs, funds are raised to provide AmTrykes, or specially adapted tricycles, to children with special needs in this region. The increased physical activity that is expected to come from the use of these therapeutic tricycles is projected to improve the children’s health related quality of life. To date research has not investigated the effects of AmTrykes. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of AmTrykes on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), participation, function, and physical activity in children with special needs. We hypothesized that, after receiving an AmTryke, children would exhibit increased Sports and Physical Functioning and Global Functioning normative scores, on the PODCI, Psychosocial HRQOL, Physical HRQOL, and Total HRQOL, on the PedsQL-PR, and play time with other children, physical activity, feeling of independence, and health benefits, as measured by the APS-A. Reliable measures of HRQOL, participation, function, and physical activity were administered before and after receiving an AmTryke. The assessments that were utilized include the Pediatric Outcomes Questionnaire (PODCI), the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Parent Report (PedsQL-PR), and the AmTryke Parent Survey-Adapted (APS-A). Parents/guardians were asked to fill out the PODCI and the PedsQL-PR prior to receiving the AmTryke to be used as a pre-test assessment. Four weeks after the child was given their tricycle, the same assessments were sent via mail to the parents/guardians to be used as the post-assessment. The APS-A was sent out via an email link, to these new recipients and to all previous recipients of AmTrykes from ENC Ambucs. Six children, ranging in age from 4 to 18 (mean=8.2 years) received an AmTryke in February 2016 and were subjects for the pre/post assessments. In addition to these six children, 12 past bike recipients were surveyed using the APS-A. These 18 subjects were between the ages of 4 and 18 (mean=10.9 years). The Global Functioning Scale of the PODCI decreased significantly after the four week intervention period (pre=1.33, post=-8.67, p=0.04). Other PODCI and PedsQL-PR data were not significant. On the APS-A, 55.6% of parents reported an increase since receiving the AmTryke. An increase in physical activity was reported by 77.8% of parents, and 88.9% reported an increase in their child’s sense of independence. Health benefits were noted by 72.2% of parents. The AmTryke appeared most beneficial for children who were unable to walk independently (n=7, a subset of the 18 respondents to the APS-A). Of those seven parents, 100% reported an increase in their child’s sense of independence and an improvement in their child’s mood. Use of an AmTryke appears to improve the quality of life, activities, and participation in children with special needs. In terms of their sense of independence and mood, children with special needs who are unable to walk alone may benefit more than others from the use of an AmTryke. Future studies will be important to increase the evidence that providing children with special needs with opportunities to participate in bike riding has many positive effects on their quality of life and their physical and psychosocial development.
Hayden, Denay M.. (April 2016). Effects of Adapted Tricycles on Quality of Life, Activities, and Participation in Children with Special Needs (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5649.)
Hayden, Denay M.. Effects of Adapted Tricycles on Quality of Life, Activities, and Participation in Children with Special Needs. Honors Thesis. East Carolina University, April 2016. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5649. March 06, 2021.
Hayden, Denay M., “Effects of Adapted Tricycles on Quality of Life, Activities, and Participation in Children with Special Needs” (Honors Thesis., East Carolina University, April 2016).
Hayden, Denay M.. Effects of Adapted Tricycles on Quality of Life, Activities, and Participation in Children with Special Needs [Honors Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; April 2016.
East Carolina University