Patient-centered care includes considering the environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions that impact the patient’s experience. In this issue, we explore these factors in the context of providing humanitarian O&P care in less resourced countries, having an awareness about how culture affects patients’ views of their treatment options, and rethinking how the profession approaches device design by starting with patients’ perspectives about their needs.
Most O&P clinicians enter the profession with a strong desire to help people, so it’s no surprise that many also want to extend their care to humanitarian work in less resourced countries. But, if the aid is not provided with an understanding of the environment in which the patients will use the devices, coordination with local providers, and a plan for follow-up care, well-meaning efforts can result in negative results. In “Humanitarian O&P Aid: Leaving a Gentler Footprint,” O&P professionals seasoned in providing humanitarian aid offer their advice on performing this work in the most appropriate, beneficial way.