Prosthetic arms, improvement over time
Training is important in use of any prosthetic device. However, in order to develop an affective training program we must first understand how users learn to use their devices. For the purpose of the study, able-bodied individuals were trialled with prosthetic simulators due to ethics and participant numbers.
It was clear that small movements such as gripping took longer to learn and improve upon than gross movements to position the prosthesis. The greatest improvement was seen in the first two sessions.
An important outcome of this research was evidence that placing the object in the sound hand, then using the prosthetic to grasp the item gave faster improvements, in speed and controlled grasp strength, than other methods of learning. However, sometimes this method gave no improvement from one session to the next and could de-motivate the patient to continue. Other methods showed steady progress between each session.
> From: Bouwsema et al., J Neuroeng Rehabil 11 (2014) 16. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.