Assessment of Muscle Activation of Caregivers Performing Dependent Transfers With a Novel Robotic-Assisted Transfer Device Compared With the Hoyer Advance

Eline R Blaauw, Mark Greenhalgh, Riemer Vegter, Sarah Bass, Hailee Kulich, Garrett G Grindle, Rosemarie Cooper, Alicia M Koontz, Rory A Cooper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare muscle activity in caregivers while using a novel robotic assistive transfer device (Strong Arm) to a clinical standard of care (Hoyer Advance).

DESIGN: A Quasi-Experimental design was used in which twenty caregivers (33±15 years old) performed transfers with three surfaces (toilet, bench and shower chair) with the Strong Arm and Hoyer Advance. Transfer completion time (sec), peak percentage surface electromyography (EMG) and integrated EMG of the bilateral erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major and anterior deltoid were measured.

RESULTS: Caregivers required less transfer time when transferring from wheelchair to surface using the Hoyer Advance (p=.011, f=.39). Lower back: significantly lower pEMG were found using Strong Arm in 50% and for the iEMG in 25% of the cases, with the remaining cases showing no significant differences. Shoulder: significantly lower pEMG were found using Strong Arm in 19% of transfers and lower iEMG was found in 25% of transfers when using the Hoyer Advance, with the remaining cases showing no significant differences.

CONCLUSION: While back muscle activation during Strong Arm transfers is statistically, but not clinically, lower, additional features that couple with significantly lower muscle activation make it an alternative to the clinical standard for further research and possible clinical applicability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-894
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
Early online date11-Dec-2020
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2021


  • Moving and Lifting Patients
  • Back Injuries
  • Self-Help Devices
  • Wheelchairs
  • PEAK
  • LIFT

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