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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 769296, 8 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Reaction Response Time between Hand and Foot Controlled Devices in Simulated Microsurgical Testing

1Doheny Eye Institute, 1450 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
2Department of Ophthalmology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1450 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
3Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), Rua Botucatu, No. 740, 04023-900 Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, 1975 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
5Department of Ophthalmology, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Grabengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

Received 29 March 2014; Revised 1 June 2014; Accepted 7 June 2014; Published 6 July 2014

Academic Editor: Jerzy Nawrocki

Copyright © 2014 Marcel Pfister et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. We hypothesized that reaction times (RTs) for a switch release are faster for hand-controlled than for foot-controlled switches for physiological and anatomical reasons (e.g., nerve conduction speed). The risk of accidental trauma could be reduced if the surgeon reacted quicker and therefore improve the surgical outcome. Method. We included 47 medical professionals at USC. Demographics and handedness were recorded. Under a microscope, a simple reaction time test was performed, testing all extremities multiple times in a random order. Additionally, a subjective questionnaire was administered. Results. The mean RTs for hands are 318.24 ms 51.13 and feet . The comparison of hand versus foot showed significant shorter RTs for the hand ( ). Partially significant differences between and within the experience level groups could be demonstrated by level of education (LE) and microscopic surgeries/week (MSW) ( ). In the subjective questionnaire, 91.5% ( ) of test subjects prefer to use hand controls. Conclusion. Our data show that the RT for hands is faster than feet. Similarly the subjective questionnaire showed a greater preference for hand actuation. This data suggest a hand-controlled ophthalmic instrument might have distinct advantages; however, clinical correlation is required.