Myoelectric Prosthesis Users Improve Performance Time and Accuracy Using Vibrotactile Feedback When Visual Feedback Is Disturbed

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2018 Nov;99(11):2263-2270. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.05.019. Epub 2018 Jun 20.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of adding vibrotactile feedback (VTF) in myoelectric prosthesis users during performance of a functional task when visual feedback is disturbed.

Design: A repeated-measures design with a counter-balanced order of 3 conditions.

Setting: Laboratory setting.

Participants: Transradial amputees using a myoelectric prosthesis with normal or corrected eyesight (N=12, median age 65±13y). Exclusion criteria were orthopedic or neurologic problems.

Interventions: All participants performed the modified Box and Blocks Test, grasping and manipulating 16 blocks over a partition using their myoelectric prosthesis. This was performed 3 times: in full light, in a dark room without VTF, and in a dark room with VTF.

Main outcome measures: Performance time, that is, the time needed to transfer 1 block, and accuracy during performance, measured by number of empty grips, empty transitions with no block and block drops from the hand.

Results: Significant differences were found in all outcome measures when VTF was added, with improved performance time (4.2 vs 5.3s) and a reduced number of grasping errors (3.0 vs 6.5 empty grips, 1.5 vs 4 empty transitions, 2.0 vs 4.5 block drops).

Conclusions: Adding VTF to myoelectric prosthesis users has positive effects on performance time and accuracy when visual feedback is disturbed.

Trial registration: NCT02749643.

Keywords: Amputation; Prosthesis; Rehabilitation; Sensory feedback; Visual feedback.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amputation, Surgical / psychology
  • Amputation, Surgical / rehabilitation
  • Arm
  • Artificial Limbs*
  • Electromyography
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis Design / methods*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Touch Perception / physiology*
  • Vibration
  • Visual Perception / physiology

Associated data