An overview and categorization of dynamic arm supports for people with decreased arm function

L.A. Heide, van der, B. Ninhuijs, van, A. Bergsma, G.J. Gelderblom, D.J. Pijl, van der, L.P. Witte, de

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Assistive devices that augment arm function were already introduced during the polio era. Devices are still being developed, but a review has not been performed thus far. Objective: To create an overview and categorize assistive devices facilitating arm function in activities of daily living for people with decreased arm function. Study design: Literature review. Methods: A systematic review in three scientific literature databases. Conference proceedings, assistive technology databases, and references were searched and experts consulted. This resulted in a database of dynamic arm supports. Product information was added, and the devices were categorized. Results: A total of 104 dynamic arm supports were found. These could be categorized as nonactuated devices (N = 39), passively actuated devices (N = 24), actively actuated devices (N = 34), or devices using the functional electrical stimulation principle (N = 7). Functionality analysis resulted in second-level categorization: tremor suppression, facilitation of anti-gravity movement, and assistance of specific joint motion. Conclusion: All devices could be ordered in a categorization of low complexity. Many have been developed; most have disappeared and have been succeeded by similar devices. Limitations of the devices found mainly concern interfacing and the range of motion facilitated. Future devices could make use of whatever residual strength is available in the users’ arm for control. Clinical relevance The provided overview of devices in this article and the classification developed is relevant for practitioners seeking assistive solutions for their clients as it makes the range of developed solutions both accessible and comprehensible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-302
JournalProsthetics & Orthotics International
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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