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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

A comparison of the University of New Brunswick Test of Prosthetic Function and the Assessment of Capacity for Myoelectric Control

H Burger, D Brezovar, G Vidmar
European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2014, 50 (4): 433-8
24476807

BACKGROUND: Valid outcome measures are required for gathering evidence on when, how and using which prosthetic components to start prosthetic fitting to children with congenital upper limb deficiencies and those following acquired upper limb amputation. We have been using the University of New Brunswick Test of Prosthetic Function (UNB, which measures skill and spontaneity of prosthetic use) in our country since 1996, and the Assessment of Capacity for Myoelectric Control (ACMC, which was developed for persons using a myoelectric prosthesis) since 2008.

AIM: We wanted to explore whether the UNB and the ACMC measure the same construct (i.e., assess convergent validity), and whether the ACMC can also be used for assessing children and adolescents who use a body-powered upper-limb prosthesis.

DESIGN: Observational.

SETTING: Inpatient.

POPULATION: All the 19 children and adolescents who were visiting the outpatient clinic for rehabilitation of children with upper limb deficiencies and amputations at our institute from January 2010 to December 2011 and had a myoelectric (15 participants) or body-powered prosthesis (4 participants).

METHODS: The participants were assessed by the age-appropriate UNB subtest; 60 assessments were performed in total. Two tests (moving a plastic glass half-full with water from table to the sink, and tying apron at the back) were added to obtain the ACMC scores.

RESULTS: Simple and autocorrelation-adjusted correlation and regression analyses demonstrated that ACMC score is highly positively correlated with UNB spontaneity and skill score in children and adolescents who use a myoelectric prosthesis. Neither of the two associations could be observed in children and adolescents who use a body-powered prosthesis.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that both tests can be used for assessing children and adolescents who use a myolectric prosthesis, but only the UNB appears to be appropriate for those who use a body-powered prosthesis.

CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: This small study indicates that either the ACMC or the UNB are applicable for assessing children and adolescents who use a myolectric upper-limb prosthesis because of congenital upper limb deficiencies or acquired upper limb amputation, but only the UNB seems to be applicable for those children or adolescents who use a body-powered prosthesis.

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