Abstract

Trainees could benefit from practicing orthotic fabrication on simulated hands with joint deformities. As a first step toward such training, we explored the use of a nonpathological model hand. Twenty-one participants were randomized into one of two groups that practiced using a person’s right hand or a model right hand. One week later, all participants returned for a transfer test in which they made one orthosis on a person’s left hand. All participants’ performance and orthoses were evaluated using a validated checklist and a global rating scale (GRS). Fabrication time for each orthosis also was recorded. The GRS score and fabrication time changed significantly over the course of practice. Trainees who practiced with the model hand made better orthoses during practice and on the transfer test, as measured with the checklist’s final product subscore. Instructional and contextual factors that may affect trainees’ performance and learning are discussed.

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