The Effect of Training with a Prosthetic Hand Simulator in Adult Non-amputees: A Controlled Pilot Study
The uprising of versatile wearable technology allows for the development of assistive aids with increased functionality. With this improved functionality, often complexity of use also increases. In particular, wearable multi-channel emg sensors combined with versatile programmable output and emg pattern classifiers, allows to steer prostheses with mechanical functionality in multiple degrees of freedom (DOF). As it is essential for arm amputees to learn how to use newly multiple DOF prosthesis with improved functionality, there is a growing need for a substantiated training program. The aim of this controlled pilot study was to investigate the effect of a prosthetic training session on the functionality of adult non-amputees wearing a prosthetic hand simulator. The prosthetic hand simulator was dedicatedly developed to that end. Ten participants were recruited from the University of Antwerp, aged 18–25 years. All participants were able-bodied and right-handed adults, with normal or corrected-to-normal vision, no neurological or upper extremity musculoskeletal problems, and no earlier experience with a prosthetic simulator. The SHAP test was performed with a prosthetic simulator to obtain an impression of the functionality. Mann-Whitney U test confirmed the comparability of scores of the control group (N = 5) and intervention group (N = 5) at baseline (p = 0.530). Further, a statistically significant difference between first and last test-sessions could be identified in both groups (both p = 0.042). In addition, a trend (p = 0.056) in difference in improvement could be observed in favor of the intervention group. Results emphasize the importance of learning a correct and functional employment of multiple DOF artificial hand prosthesis and thus improving functionality in daily use.
KeywordsProsthetic articulator Multiple DOF Activities of daily life Shap-test
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