This study presented 18 healthy young adults with two functionally identical knee braces. One brace was cosmetically altered and outfitted with a switch, LED light, and USB port, and participants were told that it was an experimental computerized brace capable of dynamic joint stiffness alteration. We surveyed participants on their expectations for the braces, analysed their gait kinematics and kinetics during walking, and then surveyed them on their perceptions and preference. Before the walking trial, 61% expressed preference for the “computerized” brace. After walking with both braces in random order, 83% preferred the “computerized” brace. Actual walking patterns were identical, with no significant differences in any of 11 gait parameters. Future research should consider blinding when including self-reported outcomes in studies of orthopaedic components.
Balsamo, Brittany and Geil, Mark
"DOES EXPECTATION OF HIGHER PERFORMANCE IN A KNEE BRACE ACTUALLY AFFECT GAIT?,"
ISBS Proceedings Archive: Vol. 35
, Article 158.
Available at: http://commons.nmu.edu/isbs/vol35/iss1/158