Volume 51 Number 3, 2014
Pages 351 — 362
Abstract — Mechanical properties of the DEKA Arm and associated engineering innovations are easy to observe. What is less clear is how these advances translate into functional benefits for the user with amputation. Study aims were to (1) quantify outcomes including dexterity, performance of daily activities, and prosthetic skill and spontaneity of users of the DEKA Arm and (2) compare outcomes when using the DEKA Arm with scores using the existing prosthesis. This was a quasi-experimental study. Descriptive analyses examined outcomes by DEKA Arm configuration level. Of the 39 subjects fit with a DEKA Arm, 32 were trained in use and completed end-of-study testing. Data from 26 prosthetic users were used to compare outcomes using existing prostheses with outcomes with the DEKA Arm. Dexterity and activity performance with the DEKA Arm varied by amputation level (p < 0.01). Self-reported function and number of activities performed using the prosthesis were similar across levels. Comparisons with existing prostheses showed the effect on dexterity varied by level. Activity performance and spontaneity of prosthetic use improved for users of the shoulder configuration level, while use of the prosthesis to perform activities and perceived difficulty performing self-selected tasks improved for all levels.
Key words: amputation, assistive technology, Department of Veterans Affairs, dexterity, disability evaluation, outcomes, physical function, prosthetics, rehabilitation, upper limb.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, June 12, 2014 9:46 AM