A literature review performed at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, concluded that a lack of and quality of available research made it difficult to determine the efficacy of O&P practices in low-income countries. The results were published online January 7 in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 percent of the disabled population lives in low-income countries, with increased demands for O&P services. The Strathclyde researchers intended the literature review to assess current models of services to define the current best practices in these low-income countries.
Using Ovid Medline, PubMed, ISI Web of Knowledge, Embase, RECAL Legacy, and a combination of subject heading and text word searching strategies, researchers appraised and ranked full-text publications according to the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network guidelines. Studies were grouped into one or more categories based on the topic, including instigators, types of service provision, demographics, and region-specific issues.
The review concluded that factors such as demographic and regional idiosyncrasies required O&P services to be tailored to address the specific needs of individual countries, but that the lack of research made efficacy of methods difficult to determine. Researchers believe that this inability to highlight areas of best practices in low-income countries can be used to show where further research is required to develop evidence-based O&P services.