SaeboFlex for Upper Limb Rehabilitation

Following stroke, some patients can find it difficult to relax or straighten out the fingers and thumb. SaeboFlex is a non-robotic, mechanical splint that is worn over the forearm, wrist and hand, to aid upper limb recovery. It uses springs to help straighten out fingers and open up the thumb, helping patients to more effectively let go of items after grasping them.

In 2022, HabITec hosted a 10-week Industry Placement for University of Queensland PhD student Amelia Tan to support the implementation and utilisation of SaeboFlex by Occupational Therapists (OTs) at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Placement objectives were to:

  • Appraise the evidence for the effectiveness and utility of SaeboFlex in rehabilitation (including determining suitability of device for different patient groups),
  • Conduct benchmarking on how these devices are used in other Australian clinical contexts, and
  • Develop a practical guideline to support PAH clinicians to use SaeboFlex in practice, as well as resources for patients, in collaboration with Clinical Specialist OTs (Kerry Ann Anderson Kay & Vickie Mills)
  • The placement resulted in the implementation of the SaeboFlex at the OT Department of the Princess Alexandra hospital, and new clinician and patient resources.

Clinician feedback on the benefits to patients and service delivery:
Knowledge of the treating team coupled with HabITec research prowess was a winning combination. Despite having the Saebo kit available for use, progressing clinician accreditation, clinical documentation, guidelines and patient education materials would have been a protracted and constantly deprioritised. By overlaying the resources with our existing goal setting and upper limb intervention and education formats, it allowed for rapid adoption by our clinicians (Kerry Ann Anderson Kay, Clinical Specialist OT, GARU, PAH).


Clinical impacts of SaeboFlex

Pre-treatment                                                                           Post-treatment



The implementation of SaeboFlex for upper limb neurorehabilitation was the topic of one of our BIBS Symposium presentations, 2022. Click here to view that presentation. 


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