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Journal Articles Ergonomics Year : 2022

Influence of a passive back support exoskeleton on simulated patient bed bathing: Results of an exploratory study

Abstract

Low-back pain is a major concern among healthcare workers. One cause is the frequent adoption of repetitive forward bent postures in their daily activities. Occupational exoskeletons have the potential to assist workers in such situations. However, their efficacy is largely task-dependent, and their biomechanical benefit in the healthcare sector has rarely been evaluated. The present study investigates the effects of a passive back support exoskeleton in a simulated patient bed bathing task. Nine participants performed the task on a medical manikin, with and without the exoskeleton. Results show that working with the exoskeleton induced a significantly larger trunk forward flexion, by 13 deg in average. Due to this postural change, using the exoskeleton did not affect substantially the muscular and cardiovascular demands nor the perceived effort. These results illustrate that postural changes induced by exoskeleton use, whether voluntary or not, should be considered carefully since they may cancel out biomechanical benefits expected from the assistance.
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Dates and versions

hal-03805348 , version 1 (07-10-2022)

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Pauline Maurice, Félix Cuny-Enault, Serena Ivaldi. Influence of a passive back support exoskeleton on simulated patient bed bathing: Results of an exploratory study. Ergonomics, 2022, pp.1-15. ⟨10.1080/00140139.2022.2129097⟩. ⟨hal-03805348⟩
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