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Therapists are frequently presented with new splinting material promising better and faster results. Managed care and cost containment make it important to evaluate the splinting materials used in the fabrication process. A new precut splint, QuickCast™, is made from a fiberglass material that becomes pliable from the heat of a standard household hair dryer. Graduate occupational therapy students participated in timed trials fabricating resting hand splints with QuickCast and Eze-form® brands of thermoplastic. Second-year occupational therapy students chosen as splint makers answered a questionnaire measuring fit, edges, strap application, aesthetics, safety, and ease of positioning. First-year students who had no neurologic or orthopedic involvement in the upper extremities participated as clients. They answered a questionnaire on comfort, weight, and aesthetics of the splint and the safety and comfort of the splinting process. Analysis of timed trials revealed no significant difference in the time required to fabricate the QuickCast precut thermoplastic and the sheet thermoplastic splints. From the questionnaire, the thermoplastic splint was rated safer than the QuickCast material by splint makers. Further studies are suggested for comparing time and cost effectiveness between commercially available splinting materials.
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© 1998 Hanley & Belfus, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.