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Functioning of young individuals with upper limb reduction deficiencies

Prostheses, adaptive devices, and functional tests
PhD ceremony:Ms E. (Ecaterina) Golea-Vasluian
When:November 12, 2014
Supervisor:prof. dr. C.K. (Corry) van der Sluis
Co-supervisors:Prof. H.A. Reinders-Messelink, dr. R.M. (Raoul) Bongers
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
Functioning of young individuals with upper limb reduction

Youngsters born with a short arm (transversal reduction deficiency) have good functionality in daily activities. Ecaterina Golea-Vasluian draws this conclusion in her thesis. To perform daily life activities, children and adolescents with a short arm prefer to use their unimpaired and impaired hands and other body parts as the legs and feet, shoulders and the head. However, there are tasks that are more difficult to perform. For tasks as eating, doing sports, cycling or hobbies, children and adolescents often use adaptive devices. Adaptive devices are specifically designed to be used with the short arm. Prostheses are mostly used to avoid stares and adverse reactions from people in the environment, but less chosen for the functionality purposes. Children with short arms are more satisfied with the use of adaptive devices than with the prostheses. Adaptive devices are easier to use, to don and doff, much lighter and unexpansive.

To evaluate the functionality with the short arm, the researchers adjusted a measurement instrument (adult version) for the use in children of 4 to 6 years old. The instrument, the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP) provides an overview of the functionality of a child with any hand condition. The first tests in unimpaired children displayed the fact that the instrument is appropriate for the use in children. More research is needed in order to improve the pediatric SHAP for the use in clinical practice.