|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 3|
The purpose of the research described in this work is to answer how to measure the rheologic (viscoelastic) properties tendo–deformational characteristics of soft tissue. The method would also resemble muscle palpation examination as it is known in clinical practice. For this purpose, an instrument with the working name “myotonometer” has been used. At present, there is lack of objective methods for assessing the muscle tone by viscous and elastic properties of soft tissue. That is why we decided to focus on creating or finding quantitative and qualitative methodology capable to specify muscle tone.
Previous studies have shown that there are arguments regarding the reliability and validity of the Ashworth and Modified Ashworth Scale towards evaluating patients diagnosed with upper limb disorders. These evaluations depended on the raters’ experiences. This initiated us to develop an upper limb disorder part-task trainer that is able to simulate consistent upper limb disorders, such as spasticity and rigidity signs, based on the Modified Ashworth Scale to improve the variability occurring between raters and intra-raters themselves. By providing consistent signs, novice therapists would be able to increase training frequency and exposure towards various levels of signs. A total of 22 physiotherapists and occupational therapists participated in the study. The majority of the therapists agreed that with current therapy education, they still face problems with inter-raters and intra-raters variability (strongly agree 54%; n = 12/22, agree 27%; n = 6/22) in evaluating patients’ conditions. The therapists strongly agreed (72%; n = 16/22) that therapy trainees needed to increase their frequency of training; therefore believe that our initiative to develop an upper limb disorder training tool will help in improving the clinical education field (strongly agree and agree 63%; n = 14/22).