Oral Communication

Effects and impacts of a robotic arm used by individuals with upper limb motor impairment: A scoping review

Ms Maude BEAUDOINa, Prof François ROUTHIERa, Ms Josiane LETTREa, Prof Philippe ARCHAMBAULTb, Prof Martin LEMAYc

a Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en réadaptation et intégration sociale (CIRRIS), Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de la Capitale nationale (CIUSS-CN), site IRDPQ, Québec, Canada, b Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain (CRIR), Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de Laval (CISSL), site Hôpital Juif de réadaptation, Laval, Canada, c Centre de réadaptation Marie Enfant (CRME), CHU Sainte-Justine, Montréal, Canada

Introduction: Individuals with motor impairments may be limited in the realization of their activities of daily living, their leisure activities or their work activities. To overcome these limitations, the involvement of a caregiver and/or the acquisition of assistive devices are often necessary. In the last few years, more and more assistance robots have been developed and the interest they generate is growing. Among these, there are robotic arms aiming to improve the functional autonomy of people living with upper limb motor impairment.

Objective: Since the effects and impacts of the use of a robotic arm by these individuals are not well documented, this study aims at obtaining an overview of what has been reported until now in the scientific literature.

Methods: To achieve this, we undertook a scoping review. Four databases were searched: PubMed, Embase, Compendex and Scopus. Following a selection process involving different steps, 36 papers were retained. Relevant data, the same for each paper, were recorded. The quality of the selected papers was evaluated using the Critical Review Form for Quantitative Studies (McMaster University). The papers were also classified according to the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement (CMOP-E). The CMOP-E allowed us to identify the occupational domains addressed in the retained studies.

Results: Twenty-four papers presented results related to basic activities of daily living, 18 to instrumental activities of daily living, 9 to work activities, 8 to leisure activities, 2 to school and 2 to games. The quality assessment revealed a mean score of 8.8/15, demonstrating that the effects and impacts of robotic arms have to establish in a more rigorous way. The utilisation of a robotic arm has more positive than negative effects and impacts on the various occupational domains.

Conclusion: These assistive devices have the potential to be successfully integrated into the users’ life, but some improvements are desirable to increase the satisfaction related to their utilization.

Keywords : assistive technology, assistive device, robotic arm, motor impairments, upper limb, scoping review