Prosthesis Rejection Among Vets Centers on Device

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Little is known about the patterns of prosthesis use and satisfaction among veterans with upper-limb amputations who stop or begin use of the device. A research team seeking more information concluded that prosthesis abandonment appeared to center on dissatisfaction with the device and less frequent/intense prosthesis use.

A longitudinal sample of veterans with upper-limb amputations aimed to describe changes in prosthesis use over a one-year period, examined rates of receipt of new prostheses, and compared prosthesis satisfaction in those who received a new device to those who did not. A total of 808 veterans who had participated in a baseline interview one year earlier were asked to participate in structured telephone interviews.

A total of 562 veterans with unilateral and 23 with bilateral amputation participated in the interviews (response rate was 72.4 percent and 85.2 percent, respectively). Prosthesis use, frequency and intensity of use, and types of prostheses used were stable over one year.

About 24 percent of the respondents reported using a different primary terminal device type at follow-up than baseline. Prosthesis use was less frequent/intense at baseline among those who discontinued use compared with those who did not, and less frequent/intense for those who started compared with those who continued using a prosthesis. Rates of prosthetic training were higher among the respondents who received a different prosthesis type compared with those using the same device. Satisfaction scores were higher for new prosthesis recipients, and lower at baseline for those who abandoned their prosthesis compared with continued users, the study found.

The study, Longitudinal study of prosthesis use in veterans with upper limb amputation, was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.