It’s All in Your Perspective

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By Andrea Spridgen

As we enter December, I greet the month with excitement—I love the sights, scents, and sounds the holiday season brings. But for others it's just another month, or conversely, it brings anxiety with lengthy to-do lists, extra social obligations, and perhaps extended-family dynamics—it's all in your perspective. Similarly, the articles in this issue demonstrate that the way in which practitioners approach interdisciplinary teamwork, evaluation of patients' activity levels, and clinical decision-making are also often a matter of perspective.

"Conflict and Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Teams" describes a scenario in which the author and a physical therapist had vastly different views about their roles in providing prosthetic care to a patient. This anecdotal example serves as a useful backdrop for the article's concepts. It explores research related to conflict and collaboration on interdisciplinary teams and how using a tool developed to facilitate teamwork and communication among healthcare professionals, the TeamSTEPPS program, may help professionals from different disciplines better understand each other's positions.

The second feature in this issue, "One Step at a Time," challenges a perception that individuals with limb loss lead sedentary or low-activity lifestyles due to their situation. In reviewing published observations of daily step counts among individuals with lower-limb amputations and placing them within the broader context of individuals with conditions such as heart disease, fibromyalgia, COPD, and the general U.S. adult population, this perspective changes. It appears that the activity levels of people with lower-limb loss are not far behind individuals without amputation.

The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Society Spotlight, "Behavioral Sciences in Clinical Practice,"  provides an overview of behavioral sciences and highlights the value of applying their principles in O&P clinical practices. As in many other aspects of life, understanding another's frame of reference from which decisions are made, in this case the decisions patients make about their own healthcare and choices they make about their health—decisions that are often against their best interests—are essential to effective communication and mutual agreement on the best course of action.

In closing, however you view December, as the year draws to a close, on behalf of the staff of The O&P EDGE, I want to thank you for your readership, and wish you peace, joy, and warm wishes.