Surgeons' perspectives on user-designed prototypes of microsurgery armrests

Amro M. Abdelrahman, Bethany R. Lowndes, Anita T. Mohan, Shelley S. Noland, Dawn M. Finnie, Valerie Lemaine, M. Susan Hallbeck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Microsurgery is considered one of the most demanding surgical techniques. In a recent American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgeons survey, respondents reported that about half their procedures lasted 8 hours or longer and 8% had tremor during their surgery. Thus, the aim of this study was to define user-centered design requirements for a microsurgery armrest, create low-fidelity armrest design concepts and evaluate microsurgeons' perspectives on the advantages/disadvantages of five potential design concepts. Direct and videotaped observations of microsurgery, user brainstorming during a co-creation workshop and semi-structured interviews were used. The resulting five microsurgery armrest concepts were presented pictorially through semi-structured interviews, where microsurgeons defined armrest design requirements as: a) an armrest that allows the surgeons to be as close as possible to the patient; b) adjustable to accommodate different procedures sites and surgeon preferences; c) rigid enough to support arms; d) is not difficult to set up; nor e) large or bulky; and f) complies with operative sterility rules. This study illustrated how involving the users (microsurgeons) early in the design process provides useful perspectives on design requirements and implementation barrier for a cost-effective ergonomic microsurgery armrest to foster sound ergonomic surgical practice and reduce musculoskeletal health risk factors during microsurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication62nd Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, HFES 2018
PublisherHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781510889538
StatePublished - 2018
Event62nd Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, HFES 2018 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: Oct 1 2018Oct 5 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
ISSN (Print)1071-1813


Conference62nd Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, HFES 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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