Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Project

Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

This study utilized individuals with no known hand joint pathologies and analyzed the pressure exerted on varying spoon handle diameters during a simulated self-feeding exercise. This was done in an effort to determine which spoon handle diameter required the least amount of pressme. Individuals with no known hand joint pathologies were selected in order to prevent any inaccuracy of results due to underlying co-morbidities. Methods: The Novel Pliance-X hand sensor was wrapped around 15 mm, 25 IDDl, and 40 mm spoon handles. The participants were asked to complete a self-feeding exercise. The self-feeding exercise was simulated by scooping quarters from a bowl, bringing the spoon to their chip, and returning the quarters to a bowl. Each participant in the study completed three trials for each of these spoon handles in a random order. After the simulated self-feeding exercise, the participants were asked to complete an exit form about preference, pain, and provide any additional comments. Results: From the quantitative data, the researchers were able to determine the force, maximum pressme, and mean pressure exerted on each spoon handle. It was determined that there was statistically significant difference on the force exerted on the 15 mm and 40 mm spoon handle. The 15 mm spoon handle required less force to hold than the 40 mm spoon handle. Qualitative results were gathered from the exit forms that were completed by each participant. Overall, the participants preferred the 15 mm spoon handle to the other spoons. Conclusion: The study did not demonstrate that increasing the handle size will decrease the force applied by the hand. Overall the participants preferred the 15 mm spoon handle due to comfort, ease, size/fit, and natural feel. Further research is needed to determine if training with adaptive equipment is necessary to increase familiarity with the tool and possibly decrease the forces applied by the hand. Scope: The results from this study may demonstrate that to decrease the force applied by the hand to a spoon handle, more than just spoon handle size needs to be considered.

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