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Long-handled sponges: to bend or not to bend.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Assistive technology : the official journal of RESNA
Publication Date
Volume
14
Issue
2
Pages
91–97
Identifiers
PMID: 14651247
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare upper extremity range of motion when using a straight-handled long-handled sponge versus a bent-handled long-handled sponge. Thirty-eight participants ranging in age from 20 to 55 years were randomly assigned to one of two order groups: straight-bent or bent-straight. The task involved touching a buzzer placed over thoracic vertebrae 6 and 7 with the long-handled sponge. The dependent variable was right upper extremity range of motion. Significant range of motion differences were found in wrist flexion-extension, elbow flexion-extension, and shoulder abduction-adduction between the straight-handled and the bent-handled long-handled sponge (p < .05). No significant differences were found with ulnar and radial deviation of the wrist, wrist supination-pronation, or shoulder flexion (p > .05). These results suggest that within a normal population, the bent handle may be more beneficial to individuals who have decreased range of motion in shoulder abduction-adduction and wrist flexion-extension, whereas the straight handle may be more accommodating to those with decreased range of motion in the elbow. Implications for therapeutic evaluation include ensuring proper evaluation of range of motion of all upper extremity joints in order to provide assistive devices that serve individual needs. Future research should include special populations with upper extremity orthopedic conditions as well as different degrees of handle bending with the long-handled sponge.

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