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Intermanual Transfer Effects in Below-Elbow Myoelectric Prosthesis Users

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To determine intermanual transfer effects in patients with a below-elbow amputation using a myoelectric prosthesis and to establish whether laterality affects these effects.

      Design

      Case-control.

      Setting

      A standardized setting in a rehabilitation clinic.

      Participants

      A convenience sample (N=44) of experienced myoelectric prosthesis users (n=22) and matched controls (n=22). Controls were matched on sex, age (±5y), and hand dominance.

      Interventions

      Both the experienced group and the control group performed several tasks using a prosthesis simulator attached to their nonaffected arm.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Movement time, force control, Box and Block test (BBT) scores, and duration of hand opening.

      Results

      Movement times of myoelectric prosthesis users were shorter, and these users had significantly higher BBT scores and shorter hand opening durations than those of controls. No intermanual transfer effects on force control and no laterality effects were found.

      Conclusions

      Intermanual transfer effects were present in experienced myoelectric prosthesis users with a below-elbow amputation, independent of laterality. These findings support the clinical relevance of intermanual transfer training, which may facilitate persons with an upper limb amputation to start training directly after the amputation.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      ANOVA (analysis of variance), BBT (Box and Block test), CI (confidence interval)
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