A Test of Prosthetic Function for Upper-Limb Amputees

ELIZABETH SANDERSON, OT(C)*Fredericton, New Brunswick


Accurate comparison of fitting and training methods used with pediatric upperlimb amputees, including determination of benefits of prostheses, has been hampered by the lack of an adequate test of prosthetic function. Several tests can be used to determine the speed and dexterity with which the prosthesis is used. A test devised at the University of New Brunswick subjectively measures the skill component during performance of common, age-appropriate bimanual activities. A unique feature is that, in addition, the test measures the spontaneity with which the child uses the prosthesis. This is an attempt to quantify the extent to which the prosthesis has been incorporated into the body image. Comparisons are being made between observations of the child in a clinic and performance at home. Methods have been employed to establish both reliability and validity of the instrument with the assistance of occupational therapists from major pediatric prosthetics facilities in Canada, the United States, Sweden and England that collaborated with the University of New Brunswick. The test, which will be available in July 1985, is designed to measure both the ability and tendency to use any upper-limb prosthesis by children 2 to 13 years of age.

*Bio-Engineering Institute, University of New Brunswick, Box 4400, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E313 5A3, Canada