Traditional Therapeutic Task Practice vs Virtual Functional Task Practice

Conversation between doctor and patient/consumer.

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The difference between traditional therapeutic task practice and virtual functional task practice

What is the difference between traditional therapeutic task practice and virtual functional task practice of the arm and hand with the HandTutor system?

Intensive and massed exercise practice has been proven to improve patient movement ability and the ability to do everyday living tasks. The HandTutor system employs virtual functional tasks. These are computer generated tasks or games that have been formulated to allow the therapist to customize which joint or combination of joint and which movement parameter will be exercised during the practice. In other words virtual functional tasks can be customized according to the patients movement ability. Therefore patients with very limited or no active movement ability can, through active assisted exercises, undertake intensive and massed movement practice. Similarly if the patient has better movement ability but still needs to work on pushing this ability to its limit the virtual tasks can be customized so that the patient needs to employ for example his maximum range of movement and or his maximum speed of opening of the fingers in order to succeed in the repetitive task. While the patient is performing the task they continue to receive instructions on how to do the task, how to correct compensatory movement patterns as well as feedback on their success in completing the task or adhering to the task requirements. This feedback is known as augmented motion feedback and teaches the patient how to move their arm and hands again.

Traditional task practice relies on the patient performing modified everyday living tasks or ADL tasks e.g. picking up a cup. The drawback to this approach is that ADL tasks can not be modified for patients that have limited or need to further improve their movement ability beyond just performing the task.


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