Influence of Inter-Training Intervals on Intermanual Transfer Effects in Upper-Limb Prosthesis Training: A Randomized Pre-Posttest Study

Sietske Romkema*, Raoul M. Bongers, Corry K. van der Sluis

*Corresponding author for this work

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Improvement in prosthetic training using intermanual transfer (the transfer of motor skills from the trained, "unaffected" hand to the untrained, "affected" hand) has been shown in previous studies. The aim of this study is to determine the influence of the inter-training interval on the magnitude of the intermanual transfer effects. This was done using a mechanistic, randomized, single-blinded pretest-posttest design. Sixty-four able-bodied, righthanded participants were randomly assigned to the Short and Long Interval Training Groups and the Short and Long Interval Control Groups. The Short and Long Interval Training Groups used a prosthesis simulator in their training program. The Short and Long Interval Control Groups executed a sham training program, that is, a dummy training program in which the same muscles were trained as with the prosthesis simulator. The Short Interval Training Group and the Short Interval Control Groups trained on consecutive days, while the Long Interval Training Group and Long Interval Control Group trained twice a week. To determine the improvement in skills, a test was administered before, immediately after, and at two points in time after the training. Training was performed with the "unaffected" arm; tests were performed with the "affected" arm. The outcome measurements were: the movement time (the time from the beginning of the movement until completion of the task); the duration of maximum hand opening, (the opening of the prosthetic hand while grasping an object); and the grip-force control (the error from the required grip-force during a tracking task). Intermanual transfer was found in movement times, but not in hand opening or gripforce control. The length of the inter-training interval did not affect the magnitude of intermanual transfer effects. No difference in the intermanual transfer effect in upper-limb prosthesis training was found for training on a daily basis as compared to training twice a week.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0128747
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15-Jun-2015


  • TASK
  • HAND

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