Evaluation of an arm support with trunk motion capability

A. G. Dunning, M. M H P Janssen, P. N. Kooren, J. L. Herder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Due to progressive muscle weakness, the arm function in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) reduces. An arm support can compensate for this loss of function. Existing arm supports are wheelchair bound, which restricts the ability to perform trunk movements. To evaluate the function of a body-bound arm support, a prototype (based on the Wilmington robotic exoskeleton (WREX) arm support) that allows trunk movements was built. In order to examine the effect of this device and to compare it with an existing wheelchair-bound device, three healthy subjects performed single joint movements (SJMs) and activities of daily living (ADL) with and without the devices. The range of motion (RoM) of the arm and the surface electromyography (sEMG) signal of five different arm muscles were measured. The range of motion increased when compared to the wheelchair-bound device, and the trunk motion was perceived as important to make specific movements easier and more natural, especially the more extreme movements like reaching for a far object and reaching to the top of the head. The sEMG signal was comparable to that of the wheelchair-bound device. This means that an arm support with trunk motion capability can increase the range of motion of the user, while the amount of support to the arm is equal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044509
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Devices
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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