Preschool Myoelectric Program: A Three Year Review

S. HUBBARD, R. GALWAY, K. URQUHARTAND M. MIFSUD*Toronto, Ontario


The initial presentation of the OCCC Preschool Myoelectric Program, following its first year of institution, was made at the 1982 ACPOC Salt Lake City meeting. A three-year review of the project was completed in December 1984. The aims were threefold: to determine the technical problems of providing myoelectric prostheses for young children over a three-year period, to obtain information about everyday use and wearing patterns and, finally, to assess the children's functional-skill level.

Methodology included a service-record review, a questionnaire for families and a functional-skill assessment repeating the original study's videotaped evaluation procedure, with a new computer program running on an Apple IIE. Of the original 17 subjects, one child has ceased to use any prostheses. Twelve children (eight boys, four girls) were reviewed in full and ranged in age from 5 years, 9 months to 8 years, 4 months. Three other families from distant provinces completed questionnaires but were not asked to return for evaluation.

The main sources of repair included glove replacement, alteration of the socket brim and electrode problems. Maintenance costs for boys and older children were greater. The original myoprosthetic wear pattern and utilization have been maintained. No definite trend in performance patterns exists over the three years, although the boys and the older half of the population did better. We rated 58.3 percent as average performers and 16.7 percent as good.

The two evaluation procedures augment one another. An activities test, while subjective, gives an indication of the child's use of a prosthesis. The microcomputer test provides objective data concerning the patient's ability to control the prosthesis while completing a standardized test.

*The Hugh MacMillan Medical Centre (OCCC), 350 Rumsey Road, Toronto, Ontario M4G 1R8 Canada