A study was conducted to determine the benefits of prosthetic training for a person using an upper-extremity prosthesis. Ten individuals without amputations were randomly assigned to either a training or nontraining/control group. Since these individuals were not amputees, they were fitted with bilateral training prostheses.
The training group was involved in a training program administered by the researcher in which the participants took advantage of various tools (blocks, paper, pencils, clothes and hangers) to learn how to use upper-extremity prostheses. The control group received the same tools and performed the same activities as the training group, but members were not trained in the same manner as those in the first group.
Subjects were involved in four sessions of approximately two hours each. Pre- and post-tests determined the progress of the subjects. In addition, all subjects were required to complete four additional tasks to determine if the groups would apply what was practiced in the sessions.
The University of New Brunswick Test for Prosthetic Function was adapted for assessment of prosthesis use. Statistical analysis was accomplished through the use of the Mann-Whitney U Test (Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test). The individuals who received training performed tasks in a skillful, efficient manner, exceeding the performances of the untrained group.