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Title:Optimization of inversion ankle taping: A Taguchi method based study
Author(s):Boscolo, Marco
Director of Research:Zhu, Weimo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Zhu, Weimo
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Iwamoto, Gary; Sosnoff, Jacob J.; Broglio, Steven P.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Taguchi Method
Design of Experiment
Human Performance Optimization
Cost Saving
Fractional Factorial
Full Factorial
Dose Response
Ankle Taping
Abstract:Optimization of a complex process or system is often a task utilized in industrial engineering where specialized Designs of Experiments (DOEs) are used. Optimization for the purpose of finding the ideal condition of a product or process is a novel concept in kinesiology. In kinesiology research comparing 3 or more multi-level independent variables (IVs) is rarely conducted. In optimization DOE studies, each IV is a multi-level independent variable and all combinations of these variables are studied simultaneously with a factorial DOE approach or method. One such method is the Taguchi Method (TM), which is a robust industrial engineering optimization DOE method developed by Dr. Genichi Taguchi in post WWII Japan. The TM was created for the purpose of developing a product or process in a cost effective and efficient manner. To conserve resources the TM relies on fractional factorial orthogonal arrays, which require half or less of all possible linear combinations (LC). The TM works best when the materials under study behave uniformly. When the material behaves uniformly only a few replications of a LC are needed. In optimization studies with humans, humans are the material, and often humans behave non-uniformly which requires many repeat observations of LCs to achieve stable results. The purpose of this study was to validate the use of the TM in a kinesiology and athletic training application using humans along with determining what sample size produces consistent results in a TM study. For this study, the reduction in ankle inversion motion was studied by manipulating ankle taping variables relating to how thick the tape was applied, how high up the lower leg tape was applied, and how thick the prewrap was applied. Each independent variable (IV) was studied at two levels using the same ankle taping pattern. A TM orthogonal linear array four (L4) and a full factorial array were compared to see how close the two arrays optimal results were in value. For score stability progressively smaller sample sizes were analyzed. Video and inclinometery based motion analyses were used to measure the amount of ankle inversion motion, and the amount of plantar flexion. In addition, the weight of each participant’s ankle taping for each LC was measured for cost comparison. No TM based environmental variables where used in this study. Repeated measures statistical analysis was used which involved each participant being tested in each of the taping LCs, a no tape condition, and a durable ankle brace condition. The participants had no history of ankle injury in the past 12 months. The results of this study showed the TM identifying the same optimal LC parameters as the full factorial approach. The results also showed that the TM’s estimated optimal condition value was consistent with the optimal value found with the full factorial approach. To achieve statically significant results a sample size of n = 34 was needed in this study, but if the main emphasis of the researcher was in identifying meaningful difference between LC for product or process development, and not purely statistical significance, as sample size of n = 14 was deemed sufficient. A comparison of the measures used in this study showed that when the precision of the measure increased the required sample size decreased. A cost analysis showed that for a slight cost saving a “lighter” weight of tape could be used if the athletic trainer wanted to save money over a sport’s season. The ideal LC found in this study was 3 layers thick of ankle tape, applied 35% of the fibular length, as measured up from the distal fibular head, and a single layer of prewrap. This study validated the use of the TM in a kinesiology study of ankle tape performance. Further investigation is needed into the effect of exercise on the various LCs used in this study. In addition, further investigation is needed into the effects of controlling human variability within TM studies. This TM study opens the door for the exploration of optimization research concerning dose response relationships, human performance optimization, and product development in kinesiology.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Marco Santino Boscolo
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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