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Piloting a well-being observational scale (WEBS) with children using the Innowalk.

A well-being scale has been developed with disabled children and young people, using the Innowalk.

Well-being in this context refers to how children and youth with complex disabilities indicate that they are thriving in their environments which directly reflects their perceived quality of life. This research observed ten children using the Innowalk, a robotic device, as one context for them to indicate their well-being, to enable a deeper understanding of well-being for this group of non-ambulant and non-verbal children.

Researchers have not found a valid and reliable measure of well-being for those with complex disabilities. Profound disabilities refer to those children with severe learning disabilities and complex needs. The domains for this proposed observational well-being scale for children with complex disabilities have been developed into a measurement scale known as WEBS. The scale is comprised of indicators for calmness, creativity, comfort, energy, engagement and joy.

This research used the context of the Innowalk to observe well-being indicators in the children’s responses, using a case study design. Ten cases were made up from observational field notes, diaries and interviews with children and their parents. Analysis was carried out using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis and descriptive statistics used for the proposed well-being measurement scale.

Three themes were identified:

  • well-being: mood and achievements
  • participation: anticipation and tolerance
  • physical effects: improved self-regulation of sleep, bowel and muscle tone

The WEBS scores are illustrated by a Spider’s Web design to highlight the fluctuations in the well-being of each participant. The WEBS will be tested on a larger population for content validity and feasibility.


This project was funded by the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists.

Lead researcher

Picture of Dawn Pickering

Dr Dawn Pickering

Reader in Physiotherapy

+44 29206 87741

Research theme