Self-administration of new biological medications can be difficult for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients with functional impairment and hand and dexterity limitation. Twenty-three Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients participated in this study to compare preferences and injection forces using a conventional syringe and a new ergonomically designed syringe. Injection force measurements were collected in two ways: a) isometric forces, with the syringes' plungers in fixed positions (depressed halfway and fully depressed), and b) forces exerted during injection of the medication. Subjects' grip and pinch strengths were measured. A perception questionnaire gauged subjects' impressions and preferences. Subjects were capable of exerting significantly higher isometric forces using the new syringe with the plunger fixed both halfway and fully depressed. During injection of the medication, peak and mean injection forces were significantly higher, and duration was shorter, when using the new syringe. Subjects rated the new syringe higher on all twenty attributes on preference and performance. Therefore, it is expected that the new syringe will benefit self-administration of medication injection for RA patients. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society.
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