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Virtual electric power wheelchair driving performance of individuals with spastic cerebral palsy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE
Upper limb spasticity may impair the use of control interfaces such as joysticks for many individuals with disabilities such as cerebral palsy (CP). The aims of this study were to compare the driving performance of those with CP to that of control participants, to identify the impact of lead time on performance, and to compare two joystick designs, a standard movement sensing joystick and a novel isometric joystick.
DESIGN
This study used a repeated-measures design to compare the performance of a group of participants with CP to that of participants without disabilities in a two-dimensional simulated driving task on a computer screen using the two control interfaces. The driving trials used varying "lead times," or the amount of warning time available to make movement decisions and turns. A total of 34 participants with CP and without disability were matched by age and sex into two groups.
RESULTS
Participants with CP had lower driving performance in most variables of interest compared with controls. However, surprisingly, reducing lead time also reduced some performance errors, possibly because of more deliberate driving. The isometric joystick outperformed the movement sensing joystick in terms of performance errors but contributed to a prolonged reaction time.
CONCLUSIONS
The isometric joystick was preferred by participants over the movement sensing joystick in this study and may be a future alternative for individuals with CP for both power mobility and computer access tasks.

Links

  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Dicianno BE, Mahajan H, Guirand AS, Cooper RA

    Source

    American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists 91:10 2012 Oct pg 823-30

    MeSH

    Adult
    Case-Control Studies
    Cerebral Palsy
    Electricity
    Equipment Design
    Equipment Safety
    Female
    Human Engineering
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Reference Values
    Software
    Task Performance and Analysis
    User-Computer Interface
    Wheelchairs
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Comparative Study
    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22660370