Wheelchair obstacle course performance in right cerebral vascular accident victims

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    • Abstract:
      The initial experiment of this paper investigated the role of hemispatial neglect in wheelchair-related accidents of right-hemisphere stroke victims. Twelve subjects with and 12 subjects without neglect of left space drove their wheelchairs through an obstacle course. Two types of obstacle course errors were evaluated: direct hits and sideswipes. The neglecting group made significantly more direct hits but there were no significant differences between groups in sideswipe errors. In Experiment 2, the nonneglecting group's data were compared with a left-hemisphere stroke group without neglect and three motor control groups to investigate if their errors resulted from motor deficits. The right-hemisphere stroke group made significantly more left-sided errors and errors in contralateral space than any other group. In Experiment 3, 13 subjects with neglect were taught to scan to the left which resulted in significant decreases in direct hits but not in sideswipes on the obstacle course. These results suggest that obstacle course performance is sensitive to more than hemispatial neglect.