RESNA Updates Position Paper on Tilt, Recline & ELRs

The Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) has released a new position paper on tilt, recline and elevating legrests (ELRs) used on complex seating and wheeled mobility systems.

“The Application of Tilt, Recline & Elevating Legrests Literature Update” follows RESNA’s protocol of reviewing and revising its position papers every five years to stay up to date with the most recent research findings and best practices.

In a news announcement about the new position paper, the association said, “RESNA’s position is that these features are often medically necessary, as they enable certain individuals to realign posture and enhance function; improve physiological processes, such as respiration, bowel and bladder function; redistribute and relieve pressure; and manage edema, to mention just a few of the many medical benefits.”

Proper application of these positioning options requires the involvement of “a licensed medical professional (such as a physical or occupational therapist), preferably with a specialty certification,” RESNA added.

Lead author Brad Dicianno, M.D., University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, said of the new paper, “Since the original publication in 2010, there’s been additional scientific evidence for various functional uses for tilt, recline and elevating legrests. For example, additional evidence is presented for specific uses of tilt and recline angles for pressure relief.”

The paper’s other authors were Jenny Lieberman, MSOTR/L, ATP, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York; Mark Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, University of Pittsburgh; Ana Elisa Schuler P. Souza, Ph.D., PT, Recife-PE, Brazil; Rosemarie Cooper, MPT, ATP, University of Pittsburgh; Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS, Access to Independence, Arvada, Colo.; Hsinyi Liu, Ph.D., PT, University of Pittsburgh; and Yih-Kuen Jan, Ph.D., PT, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Download the new paper at

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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