Eric Hagemann, Camille K. Williams, Pat McKee, Andonia Stefanovich, Heather Carnahan; Using Model Hands for Learning Orthotic Fabrication. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(1):86–94. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.009001
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Trainees could benefit from practicing orthotic fabrication on simulated hands with joint deformities. As a first step toward such training, we explored the use of a nonpathological model hand. Twenty-one participants were randomized into one of two groups that practiced using a person’s right hand or a model right hand. One week later, all participants returned for a transfer test in which they made one orthosis on a person’s left hand. All participants’ performance and orthoses were evaluated using a validated checklist and a global rating scale (GRS). Fabrication time for each orthosis also was recorded. The GRS score and fabrication time changed significantly over the course of practice. Trainees who practiced with the model hand made better orthoses during practice and on the transfer test, as measured with the checklist’s final product subscore. Instructional and contextual factors that may affect trainees’ performance and learning are discussed.
Early in training, practicing orthotic fabrication on an artificial hand may have an advantage over a real hand by reducing the additional workload of human interaction, task difficulty, or both, allowing trainees to focus on the technical aspects of the task and become more technically proficient in the early stages of learning.
When developing simulation programs for orthotic fabrication, educators must consider how all aspects of simulation fidelity—physical, environmental, and temporal—may affect trainees’ performance and learning.
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