Background Improving joint mobility is an important outcome for patients with arthritis, but finger joint range of motion is rarely measured in clinic. Electronic gloves with movement sensors have been developed to measure joint movement accurately and it is now possible to assess dynamic mobility of the finger joints. However these gloves are expensive and it is likely that when carrying out measurements in the patient population they would be used with inner disposable gloves to avoid nonsocomical infection. Establishing accuracy and usability of electronic gloves whilst wearing disposable inner gloves is therefore an important pre-requisite for studies in patients with arthritis.
Objectives To establish the accuracy and repeatability of measurements of finger movement obtained using two different electrogoniometric gloves worn with and without an inner disposable glove.
Methods We used two different types of electrogoniometric glove for the purpose of this study. One is the commercially available 5DT dataglove 14 Ultra (5DT, 2011) and the other was produced to our specifications by Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork. We called this the “IMU glove”. We developed a graphical interface for both devices to facilitate detailed evaluation of joint movement in each finger. Both gloves were tested using a protocol adapted from Dipietro, Sabatini, & Dario, (2003).
Results Table 1 displays comparison of Coefficient of Variation (CV) readings for both data gloves. Figure shows this information graphically.
Results show no significant change for 5DT angular readings with and without a surgical glove worn underneath the data glove. Results for PIP sensors show an improvement in repeatability with a surgical glove. CV variance was smaller for MCP sensors with a surgical glove worn underneath the data glove compared with no surgical glove.
CV for the IMU data glove show negligible changes in MCP readings when a surgical glove is worn underneath. PIP readings show small changes when using a surgical glove.
Conclusions Inner disposable gloves can be worn when using electrogoniometric gloves for testing finger movement without loss of accuracy or any significant discomfort in patients with arthritis.
5DT, 2011. 5DT Data Glove 14 Ultra [WWW Document]. URL http://www.5dt.com/products/pdataglove14.html(accessed 1.10.12).
Dipietro, L., Sabatini, A.M., Dario, P., 2003. Evaluation of an instrumented glove for hand-movement acquisition. J. Rehabil. Res. Dev. 40, 179–89.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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