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An assessment and outcome measure for children's wheelchair basketball

The research team has partnered with British Wheelchair Basketball and Hillingdon Child Development Centre’s Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy team at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust to pilot a new tool for use as an assessment and outcome measure in children’s wheelchair basketball.

The tool will serve as a baseline and outcome measure while guiding the progression of individual children in sport specific skills. A comprehensive task analysis of wheelchair basketball will be completed and the project will be based in the children’s wheelchair basketball club (6-16 years) at Brunel.

This project aims to develop and pilot a new tool for use in disability sport that can serve as an assessment and outcome measure but also a guide for progressing individual children in sport specific skills. To do so the project will include the following objectives:

  1. To complete a thorough and holistic task analysis of wheelchair basketball to identify key skills that children need to engage with when participating in the sport
  2. To identify clear steps for progression (on a numeric scale) within the sport specific skills to allow for an objective assessment and outcome measure
  3. To assess the clinical utility of the new tool using guidance from Smart including:
    • Functionality (Does it work?)
    • Practicality (Is it suitable to the environment/club?)
    • Acceptability (Is it acceptable to the children, therapists and coaches?)


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Mellissa Prunty
Dr Mellissa Prunty - Mellissa is the Divisional Lead for Occupational Therapy at Brunel University London. She is a children's Occupational Therapist by background. She qualified from the MSc (pre-reg) programme at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2010. She previously completed a BSc (Hons) in Kinesiology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, while on athletic scholarship for women’s basketball. She completed her PhD on handwriting difficulties in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), which she undertook at Oxford Brookes University under the supervision of Prof. Anna Barnett, Dr. Mandy Plumb and Dr. Kate Wilmut. Mellissa has worked in a variety of childrens' services and specialises in working with children with coordination difficulties. She founded the children's occupational therapy research clinic at the university which investigates key skills and participation in childhood including handwriting, activities of daily living and cycling. The clinic currently offers placements to occupational therapy students at the university. Separate to this Mellissa co-led the development of wheelchair basketball and disability sport on campus. She has organised a series of inter-professional training days for health care students and has incorporated wheelchair basketball into the occupational therapy curriculum. The wheelchair basketball project has now expanded into the local community and a new club for children and adults is now underway (Brunel Bulls). Mellissa joined Brunel University London as a Lecturer in October 2013.

Related Research Group(s)

brain scan

Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience - Fundamental and applied research into brain function using techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), eye-tracking, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), infrared thermography together with psychophysics and cognitive behavioural paradigms in health and disease.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 21/11/2023