Hum Factors 2008 Apr;50(2):237-55
Ergonomics and Human Factors Department, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.
Objective: Muscle activity with and without the use of commercially available patient assistive devices during bed rising and lowering was quantified.
Background: Limited research is available in understanding or evaluating the physical benefits of assistive devices for patient use following major abdominal surgery.
Methods: Twenty healthy participants (9 men, 11 women) took part in a laboratory study to test the effects of device configuration (five levels) and bed elevation angle (0 degree and 30 degrees) on mean and peak upper and lower rectus abdominis and external oblique concentric and eccentric muscle activity.
Results: Reduced muscle activity was associated with the use of an assistive device, as compared with manual bed rising (unassisted). Positioning the devices at a higher anchor height and/or increasing the bed elevation angle further reduced muscle activity. Objective and subjective differences between the two assistive devices evaluated in the study were found.
Conclusion: These results suggest that self-assistive devices may speed recovery because of reduced loads on damaged tissues.
Application: Potential applications of this research include the assessment of other commercially available lift aids or comparisons of self-assistive lift aids with hospital-housed lift aids used to speed recovery rates.