New ergonomic design criteria for handles of laparoscopic dissection forceps.
ABSTRACT The shape of laparoscopic instrument handles can cause physical discomfort. This problem may be ascribed to a lack of standards for instrument design. In this study, new ergonomic requirements for the design of laparoscopic dissection forceps were created. Three representative handles (a Karl Storz [click-line] scissors handle, an Access Plus scissors handle, and an Aesculap cylindrical handle) currently available on the market were evaluated according to the new list of ergonomic criteria.
The handles were subjectively (questionnaire) and objectively (video analyses) tested in order to find out whether the new requirements are valid for the evaluation and design of instrument handles.
The outcome of the subjective and objective tests matched the predictions by the new criteria list. New criteria were introduced (neutral wrist excursions), and existing general criteria were specified (e.g., a minimal contact area of 10 mm). Significant differences were found among the three handles. The Storz handle met 8 of the 10 requirements, the Access handle met 5, and the Aesculap handle met only 4.
The new list of ergonomic requirements is a valid tool to determine the ergonomic value of a handle for laparoscopic dissecting tasks. It gains its strength from its specialized character. Significant differences were found among the three tested handles. Cylindrical handles were inferior to scissors handles.
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