Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Cindy Flom-Meland


Low Back Pain; Quality of Life; Self-Help Devices


Background and Purpose: Low back pain affects 70-85% of American adults at some point in their life. Back pain can have a negative impact on a person's quality of life. A group of three engineering students and two physical therapy students collaborated on designing a mobility device for a US Army veteran to aid him in transfers and pain management. The purpose of this research proposal would be to assess how our client would respond to an individualized mobility device.

Case Description: Our client suffered lumbar disc injuries as a result of lifting and twisting a heavy object resulting in multiple impairments and limitations in activity and participation. The client has difficulties with transferring from the floor and has trouble tolerating positions such as sitting.

Proposal: The client will receive the Short Form 36 (SF-36) and Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ) to complete before and after receiving the device to objectively measure changes in his function. We propose we will see most clinically significant improvements in the SF 36 physical functioning, role limitations due to physical and emotional health, and vitality subscales. We expect to see improvements in our clients back pain and improved social, occupational, and recreational functioning in the ODQ.

Conclusion: Although there was limited contact with our client, we feel the completed device will meet his individual needs and improve his quality of life and will be supported through objective measures after he receives the device.