Study: Patients have improved activities of daily living with myoelectric multigrip hand

CHICAGO — Patients show positive outcomes with the use of the Michelangelo myoelectric multigrip hand in activities of daily living, according to results of a multicenter trial presented here at during the Thranhardt Lectures during the American Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium.

Andreas Kannenberg, MD, PhD, executive medical director and director of medical affairs for Ottobock North America, discussed the study of 16 unilateral transradial amputees who used a variety of myoelectric hands. Patients completed two questionnaires: the Orthotics & Prosthetics User Survey-Upper Extremity Functional Status (OPUS-UEFS) and an adult version of the Prosthetic Upper Extremity Functional Index for their existing myoelectric device and again after 12 weeks of using the Michelangelo device (Ottobock, Plymouth, Minn.).


Andreas Kannenberg

Researchers studied 23 activities of daily living (ADLs) using all devices. The OPUS revealed a “significant increase in the ease of doing these activities when using the Michelangelo hand,” Kannenberg said. The average OPUS score with a traditional myoelectric hand was 27, and the Michelangelo was 37.

“Keep in mind that a person with two sound human hands would rate all activities very easy; such a person would score 69, so there is lots of room for engineering improvement,” he said.

Study results showed five ADLs were significantly easier to perform with the Michelangelo hand, including face washing, putting on socks, tying shoelaces, cutting meat and carrying a laundry basket. Study participants found 16 ADLs easier with the Michelangelo hand, but the differences were not statistically significant. Two ADLs were easier to perform with a myoelectric hand other than the Michelangelo, but not significantly, he said.

“In bimanual activities where you do need the prosthetic side, there is a highly significant difference between the number of activities that are perceived significantly easier to perform with a multi-grip hand than with a traditional myoelectric hand,” Kannenberg said.

Study limitations included no standardized follow-up period and occupational training and the use of only self-reported outcome measures. Kannenberg said future research should use performance-based outcome measures and compare several multigrip myoelectric hands, as well as study compensatory movements.

“An interesting finding was that the patients reduced their compensatory movements when they used the multigrip hand,” he said.

Kannenberg said he expects to overcome a recent regulatory issue so the Michelangelo may soon become available in the United States. — by Carey Cowles

For more information:

Kannenberg A. Paper TL1. Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. Feb. 26-March 1, 2014. Chicago.

Disclosure: Kannenberg is executive medical director for Ottobock North America.

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