Daily Life Benefits and Usage Characteristics of Dynamic Arm Supports in Subjects with Neuromuscular Disorders

Johannes Essers*, Alessio Murgia, Anneliek Peters, Kenneth Meijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Neuromuscular disorders cause progressive muscular weakness, which limits upper extremity mobility and performance during activities of daily life. Dynamic arm supports can improve mobility and quality of life. However, their use is often discontinued over time for unclear reasons. This study aimed to evaluate whether users of dynamic arm supports demonstrate and perceive quantifiable mobility benefits over a period of two months. Nine users of dynamic arm supports were included in this observational study. They had different neuromuscular disorders and collectively used four different arm supports. They were observed for three consecutive weeks during which they were equipped with a multi-sensor network of accelerometers to assess the actual use of the arm support and they were asked to provide self-reports on the perceived benefits of the devices. Benefits were experienced mainly during anti-gravity activities and the measured use did not change over time. The self-reports provided contextual information in domains such as participation to social life, in addition to the sensor system. However self-reports overestimated the actual use by up to three-fold compared to the accelerometer measures. A combination of objective and subjective methods is recommended for meaningful and quantifiable mobility benefits during activities of daily life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4864
Number of pages20
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • neuromuscular disorders
  • dynamic arm support
  • activity monitoring
  • motor performance
  • upper extremities


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