Evaluation on Ergonomically Designed Brassiere for the Females Suffering from Hemiplegia
One of the most basic activities of daily living is dressing. As an isolated activity, dressing is complex one, involving not only coordination and dexterity but also balance and a full range of motion in both upper and lower limbs. At times physical limitations complicate self-dressing, which inevitably leads not only to fatigue, but also to frustration. The purpose of this study is to develop the most practical and comfortable brassiere for the females suffering from hemiplegia. An interview schedule was developed to collect the data regarding their body needs, problems faced by them and their preference for functional features. The results are summarized as follows. First, brassiere with easy dressing and undressing function were required. Second, the location of the fasteners should be given more design consideration for easy limb movement. Third, soft and moisture management fabrics with the property of keeping warm were preferred. Based on the results of the interview, two designs were developed and attention was paid to the above three requirements. Double-face knitted fabrics with hydrophobic inner (polyester) and hydrophilic outer (cotton) layers were used to get better thermal insulation and moisture transportation. Flexible magnetic fasteners were used which made it possible for persons with reduced strength, mobility and sensitivity in their hands to manage fastening. Extended bra strap making it possible to handle the closure with one hand. Tests were performed and statistical tools were used to evaluate different designs, and results to reveal that one of the proposed designs was preferred in all aspects.