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Abstract

The purpose of this case study is to explore the ease of utilizing task-specific design in computer-aided, open-source 3D printed design software. Two participants were recruited and assessed using subjective and objective measures to guide the prosthetic designs. Hand measurements were obtained and entered into computer software to create computer-aided design drawings of the digit prosthetics. Field notes were taken throughout this process by the interdisciplinary team and analyzed to address the ease of utilizing this technology. Objective assessments showed that both participants experienced decreased expansion, grip, and prehension strength of their affected hands. Semi-structured interviews with the participants identified several meaningful tasks that a prosthetic device could improve function in and offered valuable guidance in the development of the prosthetic designs. Analysis of the field notes allowed for the identification of six domains within the research questions. Those domains include appropriate assessment utilization, time management, participant responsiveness, clinical reasoning, common language, and available resources. The successful collaboration of occupational therapy (OT) and engineering disciplines resulted in customized 3D printed finger prosthetic designs to meet participants' specified tasks.

Author Bio(s)

Daniel Panchik, DSc., OTR/L, is a professor of Occupational Therapy at Elizabethtown College. He holds an MS degree in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Virginia, and a Doctor of Science in Occupational Therapy (Hand Rehabilitation) from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

Gina C. Feeney, MS OTR/L., holds an MS degree in Occupational Therapy and a BS degree in Health and Occupation both from Elizabethtown College. Her undergraduate honor’s thesis explored the continuum of care of individuals with peripheral vascular disease. At the time of this investigation, the author was completing her graduate studies.

Angeline A. Springer, MS., holds an MS degree in Occupational Therapy and a BS degree in Health and Occupation both from Elizabethtown College. At the time of this investigation, the author was completing her graduate studies.

Cristina G. VanBrocklin, MS OTR, holds an MS degree in Occupational Therapy and a BS degree in Health and Occupation both from Elizabethtown College. At the time of this investigation, the author was completing her graduate studies.

Hannah E. Winters, MS., holds an MS degree in Occupational Therapy and a BS degree in Health and Occupation both from Elizabethtown College. At the time of this investigation, the author was completing her graduate studies.

Acknowledgements

Significant credit goes to Dr. Kurt DeGeode and four students: Elle Shatto, Damon Edwards, Travis Wilson, and Robert Pavlik, who were completing their senior project in engineering. Particular recognition goes to Dr. Terri Dennehy for her faculty oversight. Finally, thank you to Mark Gatti for fabricating the BBT assessment tool's box and partition.

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