Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Performance of medical gloves
Author: Mylon, Peter T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 2325
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
A need for a more scientific approach to medical glove design, which incorporated performance requirements such as dexterity and tactility, was identified from discussions with manufacturers and a review of relevant literature. Based on the results of a review of existing test methods and interviews with a wide range of practitioners, a number of existing tests were identified for development and a number of new tests were proposed. The test apparatus and methods were designed, refined and validated with small groups of participants, allowing recommendations to be made for a battery of realistic, repeatable tests by which medical glove performance can be comprehensively characterised. The recommended tests covered three main areas of performance: manual dexterity, tactility, and grip and friction. As well as existing tests, including the Purdue Pegboard Test, the Crawford Small-Parts Dexterity Test and the Semmes-Weinstein Monofilaments, new tests were developed that better simulated the tasks carried out by practitioners, including a suturing test, the Simulated Medical Examination Tactility Test, the Pulse Location Test and the Roughness Perception Test. Apparatus was also designed to measure the effect of gloves on grasping forces and to compare static frictional properties of gloves. Grasp force and friction measurements were taken for examination gloves using human subjects and with a specially-designed anthropomorphic device. The results were compared with those obtained using a number of other friction measurement methods. There was little consistency between the test results, and none gave a definitive answer as to which glove produced the highest friction in any given situation. Further development of the apparatus and validation of the method was recommended, as well as a more comprehensive study of glove friction and the effects of lubrication. As part of the validation of the selected methods, analysis was carried out into the effect of glove material, thickness and fit on performance and the relationship between perceived and measured performance. Initial results suggested that glove fit had a greater effect on dexterity than tactility, with looser gloves reducing dexterity and tighter gloves reducing tactility. Glove thickness was found to be a significant factor in tactility, and in manual dexterity, where tactile feedback is required; thicker gloves and 'double-gloving' produced a reduction in tactility compared to thinner, single-layered gloves, and hence affected the ability to manipulate objects. Analysis of user perception of performance and of the effect of glove material properties did not produce clear trends. However, initial findings suggested that, contrary to user perception, natural rubber latex did not perform significantly better than alternatives such as nitrile and vinyl. A number of possible explanations for the discrepancy were proposed, and recommendations were made for future work with a larger sample size, including analysis of stress and fatigue levels and performing tests in lubricated conditions.
Supervisor: Lewis, Roger ; Carré, Matt J. ; Martin, Nicolas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available