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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2018

The use of assistive technology in shoulder exercise rehabilitation – a qualitative study of acceptability within a pilot project

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2018
Anthony W. Gilbert, Iva Hauptmannova, Anju Jaggi
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12891-018-2042-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Painful shoulders pose a substantial socioeconomic burden accounting for 2.4% of all primary care consultations in the UK. There is a strong evidence to indicate that the majority of this shoulder pain can be managed successfully with exercise based treatments and that common surgical procedures provide no extra benefit. Patient adherence and engagement is cited as an important factor in gaining positive outcomes.
The MUJO System has been designed to help target the rehabilitation of the rotator cuff muscles which are commonly recommended for the management of shoulder pain. The purpose of this qualitative study was to evaluate the acceptability of the MUJO System amongst clinicians and patients.


A qualitative study was undertaken to look at the usability of the MUJO System both from clinicians’ and patients’ perspectives. Patients with shoulder problems were identified by an experienced physiotherapist using the study eligibility criteria. and invited to participate. Semi-structured interviews were performed with patients and clinicians to explore factors surrounding its acceptability and feasibility of use. The study was designed using Normalisation Process Theory as a theoretical basis for the inquiry.


Seven physiotherapists and ten patients were interviewed in the study. The Internal and External Devices were seen as having the potential to rehabilitate the rotator cuff however it posed limitations towards more functional based exercises. Patients and clinicians found the visual feedback from the Patient App enhanced the rehabilitation experience. The Internal and External Devices were acceptable to all for rehabilitation providing the devices were available for use by the patients in the community.


Patients and clinicians found the MUJO System acceptable as a modality to perform shoulder exercises. For the MUJO System to be taken up as a routine part of clinical practice patients need to be able to access the devices in the community. For the MUJO System to be taken up in clinical practice it needs to be workable within the context of the treatment pathway and not interfere with standard processes.
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