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Technology Used in Activity Based Therapy for Individuals Living with Spinal Cord Injury Across Canada

Cindy Gauthier, Kristen Walden, Hope Jervis-Rademeyer, Kristin E. Musselman, Anita Kaiser, Dalton L. Wolfe, Vanessa K. Noonan & Sarah J. Donkers Spinal Cord Ser Cases 9, 1 (2023).


To compare males and females who were stratified into subgroups corresponding to premenopausal, perimenopausal and postmenopausal ages, regarding access to optimal care and their outcomes after tSCI.

Study design: 

Cross-sectional equipment inventory.


The objective of this study was to describe the equipment used in activity-based therapy (ABT) programs for individuals with spinal cord injury or disorder (SCI/D) across Canada.


Publicly funded and private SCI/D care settings.


A survey on equipment available for ABT for different therapeutic goals was answered by Canadian sites providing SCI/D rehabilitation. Information about the setting and type of client were also collected. The survey results were compiled into an inventory of the reported types and use of ABT related equipment, with equipment grouped into varying levels of technology. Descriptive statistics and qualitative descriptive analysis were used to answer the questions: (1) ‘who’ used the equipment, (2) ‘what’ types of equipment are used, (3) ‘why’ (i.e., for which therapeutic goals), and (4) ‘how’ it is used.

Twenty-two sites from eight Canadian provinces completed the survey. Reported equipment was classified into 5 categories (from low to high-tech). Most equipment reported was used to train balance. The high-tech equipment reported as available, was mostly used for walking training and strengthening of the lower limbs. Low-tech equipment was reported as being used most frequently, while high-tech devices, although available, were reported as infrequently or rarely used.


A large spectrum of equipment with varying levels of technology were reported as available, but were inconsistently used to provide ABT interventions across sites. In order to increase the clinical use of available equipment for ABT, education tools such as protocols regarding ABT principles and implementation are needed.

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