Prosthesis Users’ Input Guides Development of Mobility Measure

Researchers at the University of Washington and the Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System solicited input from prosthetic limb users in the development of a Prosthetic Limb Users Survey of Mobility (PLUS-M) to ensure that the instrument is clinically meaningful. The research team collected feedback from prosthetic limb users about their mobility experiences to inform a new person-centered measure of mobility with a prosthetic limb. The paper was published May 5 in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.

Thirty-seven people who used lower-limb prostheses participated in one of four focus groups held in different regions of the United States. Transcripts from the focus group were coded, themes were identified, and the responses were used to develop a framework for measuring mobility with a lower-limb prosthesis. According to the study's authors, the participants described mobility as a confluence of factors that included characteristics of the individual, activity, and environment. Themes were defined as individual characteristics, forms of movement, and environmental situations. Prosthetic mobility was conceptualized as movement activities performed in an environmental or situational context.

Perspectives of target respondents are needed to guide development of instruments intended to measure health outcomes, the researchers wrote.