Wheelchair mobility performance of elite wheelchair tennis players during four field tests: Inter-trial reliability and construct validity

Thomas Rietveld, Riemer J K Vegter, Rienk M A van der Slikke, Aldo E Hoekstra, Lucas H V van der Woude, Sonja de Groot

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Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to assess the inter-trial reliability and construct validity (talented juniors vs. international adult players) of four wheelchair tennis field tests using inertial measurement units (IMUs). Twenty-one elite wheelchair tennis players completed four tests, which evaluate the sprinting and manoeuvrability abilities in wheelchair tennis. During all tests 3 IMUs were attached to both wheels and the frame of the athlete's wheelchair. The IMUs enabled analysis of individual test dynamic characteristics, i.e. the linear/rotational velocity and acceleration data, as well as detected pushes. All tests showed high ICCs (0.95-0.99) for the inter-trial reliability for the IMU-based end times and also the construct validity was good, i.e. talented juniors could be discriminated from international adults. Also, velocities and accelerations during the tests could be consistently visualized, meaning that differences in test performance among participants could be designated. Within the experimental context, the field tests could be regarded as reliable and valid. With the use of IMUs it is possible to verify more detailed performance characteristics, visualize the test execution, as well as differentiate between a talented junior and international adult group and within individuals over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0217514
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6-Jun-2019

Keywords

  • acceleration
  • adult
  • article
  • athlete
  • construct validity
  • female
  • human
  • human experiment
  • male
  • reliability
  • task performance
  • tennis
  • wheelchair

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