Volume 49 Number 9, 2012
Pages 1331 — 1348
Abstract–To obtain more insight into how the skill level of an upper-limb myoelectric prosthesis user is composed, the current study aimed to (1) portray prosthetic handling at different levels of description, (2) relate results of the clinical level to kinematic measures, and (3) identify specific parameters in these measures that characterize the skill level of a prosthesis user. Six experienced transradial myoelectric prosthesis users performed a clinical test (Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure [SHAP]) and two grasping tasks. Kinematic measures were end point kinematics, joint angles, grasp force control, and gaze behavior. The results of the clinical and kinematic measures were in broad agreement with each other. Participants who scored higher on the SHAP showed overall better performance on the kinematic measures. They had smaller movement times, had better grip force control, and needed less visual attention on the hand. The results showed that time was a key parameter in prosthesis use and should be one of the main focus aspects of rehabilitation. The insights from this study are useful in rehabilitation practice because they allow therapists to specifically focus on certain parameters that may result in a higher level of skill for the prosthesis user.
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