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: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02749643.
Keywords: Amputation; Prosthesis; Rehabilitation; Sensory feedback; Visual feedback.
Copyright © 2018 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.