Degree Show 2018

James Curran

  • 17 User Experience consultant - Foolproof
  • 16 IBM - Explored AI for Accessibility/Inclusion
  • 15 Explored Consumer Experience (CX) of AI
  • 18 Diploma in Professional Studies

Final Year Project

A study to ergonomically compare different hoisting equipment, to determine the optional method of hoisting a patient

The study was conducted at Loughborough Design School. The purpose of the research was to compare passive hoisting devices in a series of tasks that are typically carried out by carers. The study was conducted in a lab-based setting, where data was gathered to analyse the hoist-task combination and to uncover the effect these two-variables had on each other.


Patient hoisting is a fundamental aspect of moving a patient from A to B, whether it be a primary or secondary task. Hoisting occurs when a patient is lacking, or has lost the ability to support their own weight; therefore a hoist is required to support the patients when being transferred. There is no substantial research providing advice on patient handling techniques and equipment, other than expert and anecdotal evidence.

Research Question

The aim of the study is to investigate a Mobile hoist v Ceiling track (Fixed) v Ceiling track (H-frame), to determine the most effective method of moving a patient from Bed to Chair, Chair to Wheelchair and Wheelchair to Bed.

To answer the research questions, the following data was collected:

  • Time taken to complete the tasks.
  • A Tabular Hierarchical Tasks Analysis of each task
  • Questionnaire results of ease of use and steps/time taken
  • Video recording of all the tasks
  • Interviews to learn about the participant’s background and overall opinion of the hoists used.

15 participants took part in the study from the following groups:

  • Loughborough Alumni Research Forum (LARF)
  • National Back Exchange – East Midlands Group
  • MSc students – Patient Handling Module (17DSP120)

A short interview was conducted to learn about the participant’s background in Patient Handling and to learn about the hoisting activities they have carried out. Participants completed 9 activities, three with each hoist. After completing the three tasks, a questionnaire was answered and this was repeated for each hoist. To conclude the research session, a task-based interview was carried out to review the tasks performed.


The Ceiling track (H-frame) took the least amount of time to complete the tasks. The reasons for this are identified in the HTA’s, which show that the H-Frame required less preparation for hoisting, compared to the Mobile hoist or Ceiling track (Fixed).

Additional steps were needed for the:

Mobile hoist:
  • Moving the bed to create space for manoeuvring the hoist.
  • Navigating the lack of space, due to mobile hoist floor coverage.
Ceiling track (Fixed):
  • Moving the patient under the area of hoist operation.
  • Positioning the patient in relation to the hoist.

Analysis found variation within tasks. Overall the Wheelchair to Bed required more steps compared to the other task.

Further research into Postural analysis of different hoisting equipment would be the ideal next step for this study as Musculoskeletal Disorders are common in patient carers.