Peripheral Upper Extremity Deficits and Effects on Activities of Daily Living

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Emily Ramsey Mallory Dickman Susan Kotowski


By Emily Ramsey, Health Sciences; Mallory Dickman, Health Sciences

Advisor: Susan Kotowski

Presentation ID: AM_B09

Abstract: Decreased sensation and mobility in the fingers and hands can lead to increased difficulty in performing daily activities such as tying one's shoes, zipping a jacket, or opening a jar. There are a few common conditions that can lead to difficulties in this area of occupation. Many people live with osteoarthritis, a condition of painful inflammation and joint stiffness that results from the breakdown of articular cartilage in the joints. This can result from general aging but can be more common in joints that have been previously injured. Since many daily activities involve dexterous use of the hands and fingers, these usually simple activities can become difficult, painful, and frustrating for those experiencing decreased sensation and mobility in their hands and fingers. There are adaptations that can make these tasks easier for those with these problems. Changes such as a rubber grip on the zipper, larger buttons, or even a buttoning aide device can make these activities much less frustrating and decrease the time needed to perform them. This project aimed to illustrate the actual time difference between completing these various activities of daily living (zipping/unzipping a jacket, buttoning/unbuttoning a shirt, tying/untying shoes, and opening/closing a jar) with no impairment and after a simulated impairment which caused decreased sensation in the hands and fingers. Time to complete task and level of sensation loss was assessed using a monofilament test. It is expected that the simulated impairment conditions would take significantly longer than the no impairment conditions.

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AM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- B: Health & Body