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A method for custom-contoured cushion design using interface pressure measurements

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3 Author(s)
Brienza, D.M. ; Dept. of Rehabilitation Sci. & Technol., Pittsburgh Univ., PA, USA ; Chen-Tse Lin ; Karg, P.E.

The interface pressure distributions between flat foam cushions and the buttocks of seated test subjects were compared to custom-contoured cushion surface shapes generated with a seated-buttock contour gauge. The authors' hypothesis was that pressure measurements could be used to generate a contour equivalent to that obtained with a force-deflection contour gauge. The study was performed in a university medical center using spinal cord injured (SCI) (12) and elderly (30) test subjects. Interface pressure was measured using a pressure mapping pad. Contour shape was measured using an electronic force-deflection contour gauge. Pressure and contour information were reduced prior to analysis using singular value decomposition. Polynomial regressions were performed on the values in the first singular vectors of the corresponding pressure and contour decompositions. Relationships best described by cubic polynomials were detected between pressure and contour shape suggesting that interface pressure predicts optimal contour shape

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Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 1 )