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Characterizing Limits of Performance Imposed by Upper Limb Prostheses

posted Sep 11, 2017, 6:47 AM by Kelsey White   [ updated Sep 11, 2017, 6:48 AM ]
Approximately 25% of individuals with upper limb loss abandon prosthesis use despite the significant functional limitations that upper limb loss can impose. While it is apparent that these devices could be improved, it is not clear what constitutes “successful” prosthesis usage or how prosthesis design affects performance. This study will evaluate performance in individuals using body-powered and myoelectric prostheses to help address these gaps in the literature. First, we will compare the ability to accurately discriminate grasp aperture and object stiffness using the two types of prosthesis. Additionally, we will compare the accuracy of movements made with the two prostheses during two planar reaching tasks: one with a timing goal and one with a spatial goal. We will quantify the quality of these movements in terms of movement straightness, smoothness, and coordination. Finally, we will determine if the movement quality characteristics found for planar movements also apply to unconstrained, three-dimensional activities of daily living.The results of these studies may ultimately be used to establish metrics to measure success with different devices or the efficacy of different therapeutic interventions.