The Wheelchair Outcomes Assessment Tools
The Wheelchair Outcomes Assessment Tools are new, free to use patient-centred outcome measures developed by the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME) and the Shropshire Wheelchair and Posture Service. The WATCh tools have been designed to allow patients, clinicians and therapists to identify, score and monitor individual users’ most important outcomes before and after wheelchair provision. The WATCh tools allow wheelchair users across a wide range of ages and clinical needs to select outcomes of most importance to them and to give an example of what they hope to achieve for each one. The tools allow comparability across patients, and ensures that patients focus on achievable outcomes.
There are currently two tools available:
- WATCh: wheelchair outcomes assessment tool for children
- WATCh-Ad: wheelchair outcomes assessment tool for adults
Both tools are available in paper and electronic formats. Please see the resources section below to download the paper versions.
Development of the WATCh tool
The project team comprised researchers from Bangor University’s Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME), and staff from the Shropshire Wheelchair and Posture Service, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group. Additional input was gained from service users and parents/carers. A questionnaire survey was sent to young wheelchair users (<18years) and their parents to explore the importance of a range of pre-defined outcomes and to identify novel outcomes. Subsequent face-to-face interviews further explored survey responses and uncovered novel outcomes.
Based on the findings of the survey and interviews, and in consultation with the service providers and service users, the WATCh questionnaire tool for children was developed. The final version comprises 16 outcome options, from which service users select their five most important outcomes to be monitored, describe what they wish to achieve, and rate their current satisfaction with each outcome. A follow-up WATCh tool has also been developed to allow monitoring of outcomes after wheelchair provision. The simple before and after scoring system should allow service providers to ascertain how well desired outcomes are being achieved, both for individual users and for a specific outcome across service users. An adult version (WATCh-Ad) has also been developed and is now available to use.
If you would like to use either of the WATCh tools, either in clinical practice or in research, we request that you inform the research team so we can monitor usage. Please contact Dr Lorna Tuersley if you would like to use the WATCh tools or if you would like further information: firstname.lastname@example.org