A multicriteria decision analysis of augmentative treatment of upper limbs in persons with tetraplegia

J. M. Marjan Hummel*, Govert J. Snoek, Janine A. Van Til, Wouter Van Rossum, Maarten J. IJzerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This study supported the evaluation by a rehabilitation team of the performance of two treatment options that improve the arm-hand function in subjects with sixth cervical vertebra (C6) level Motor Group 2 tetraplegia. The analytic hierarchy process, a technique for multicriteria decision analysis, was used by a rehabilitation team and potential recipients to quantitatively compare a new technology, Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), with conventional surgery. Performance was measured by functional improvement, treatment load, risks, user-friendliness, and social outcomes. Functional improvement after FES was considered better than that after conventional surgery. However, the rehabilitation team's overall rating for conventional surgery was slightly higher than that for FES (57% vs 44%). Compared with the rehabilitation team, potential recipients gave greater weight to burden of treatment and less weight to functional improvement. This study shows that evaluation of new technology must be more comprehensive than the evaluation of functional improvement alone, and that patient preferences may differ from those of the rehabilitation team.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-643
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


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