User Factors That Influence Invasive Prosthetic Interfaces

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Surgically invasive interfaces for upper-limb prosthesis control may allow users to operate advanced, multiarticulated devices. Recent research, however, sought to understand what factors influence an individual's decision to commit to the procedure given its potential medical risks. After an anonymous online survey of individuals with upper-limb loss, researchers concluded that participants were more likely to be interested in all interfaces if they had unilateral limb loss. Participants were more likely to be interested in the invasive interfaces if they were younger and had acquired limb loss, and participants who used a myoelectric device were more likely to be interested in myoelectric control than those who did not.

A total of 232 participants provided personal information (such as age, amputation level, etc.) and rated how likely they would be to try noninvasive (myoelectric) and invasive (targeted muscle reinnervation, peripheral nerve interfaces, or cortical interfaces) interfaces for prosthesis control. Bivariate relationships between interest in each interface and 16 personal descriptors were examined. Significant variables from the bivariate analyses were then used to predict interest in each interface.

The open-access study was published August 2 in PLOS One.

To read more about the study's background, visit Assessing Prosthesis Design Priorities From the User's Perspective.