The University of New Brunswick (UNB) Test of Prosthetic Function was developed to assess function with upper-limb prosthetic use in children. It is an observational assessment to measure skill and spontaneity of use with either body-powered or myoelectric prostheses. The Assessment of Capacity for Myoelectric Control (ACMC) is an observational assessment tool that is used to measure and register a person’s ability to control a myoelectric hand; it has been validated for persons from age 2 to 57. A team of researchers from Slovenia conducted a study to determine whether the UNB and the ACMC measure the same construct, and whether the ACMC can also be used for assessing function in children and adolescents who use a body-powered, upper-limb prosthesis. The results were published January 30, online ahead of print, in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.
The study cohort comprised 19 children and adolescents who were visiting the outpatient clinic at the institution where the researchers worked. The patient visits took place between January 2010 and December 2011. Four participants used a body-powered prosthesis and 15 a myoelectric prosthesis. Participants were assessed using the age-appropriate UNB subtest; 60 assessments were performed in total. Two tests-moving a plastic glass half-full with water from a table to the sink and tying an apron at the back-were added to obtain the ACMC scores.
According to correlation and regression analyses, the ACMC score is highly positively correlated with the UNB spontaneity and skill score in children who use a myoelectric prosthesis. Neither of the two associations could be observed in children and adolescents who use a body-powered prosthesis.
The researchers concluded that the results suggest that both tests can be used for assessing children and adolescents who use a myoelectric prosthesis, but only the UNB test appears to be appropriate for those who use a body-powered prosthesis.