Upper Limb Prosthetic Outcome Measures (ULPOM) Group
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In recent years there has been a sea change in the field of hand prosthetics, an increasing number of clinicians and researchers have a desire to be able to objectively measure the functional effectiveness of a prosthesis, or the ability of a user with their device. The problem has been that there are many tools to measure the function of hands and arms, but few seem appropriate to prosthetics. Also the tools that do exist seem to have conflicting aims and methods, so it is hard to choose the appropriate test. If practitioners have no meaningful way to test if a device is better for one user (compared with another device), they have no easy way to demonstrate to funders or providers that one solution is more effective than any other. Similarly, they lack a common language to simply pass on their professional judgement to their colleagues. What does exist is an array of different tools for measuring different aspects of prosthetic design, function and use. There is little standardisation between centres in the same country, let alone across borders and seas. Worse, there is evidence that existing techniques are being invalidated (conceivably through ignorance, and definitely due to pressures of time to conduct a truly systematic study). To save time, or effort, fully validated tests are being shortened, or favoured sub tests are being selected from the greater whole, so that the results obtained are incomplete, invalid, or simply wrong.
Kyberd, Peter, and Wendy Hill (2008). Upper Limb Prosthetic Outcome Measures (ULPOM) Group. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/2790.
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