The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced that the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) Defense Appropriations Act provides $10 million (M) to its Orthotics and Prosthetics Outcomes Research Program (OPORP) to support military-relevant personal assistive technology outcomes research. The goal of the OPORP is to improve understanding and ultimately advance the implementation of the most effective prescriptions for O&P devices, treatment, rehabilitation, and secondary health effect prevention options for patients, clinicians, other caregivers, and policymakers.
The DoD anticipates that the FY15 OPORP program announcement and general application instructions will be posted on Grants.gov by early May. Preapplication and application deadlines will be available when the program announcement is released. Applications submitted to the FY15 OPORP must address one or more of the following overarching challenges:
- Compare different patient care approaches
- Include patient-centric outcome assessments
- Have the potential to generate new knowledge that can be developed into new clinical practice guidelines, and/or new prescription algorithms for O&P devices
- Have the potential to develop new technology for improved O&P devices, therefore improving patient outcomes
- Provide information on quality of life, reintegration, and/or return to duty/return to work as it pertains to those patients who use a prosthetic or orthotic device due to limb trauma
Examples of appropriate studies include, but are not limited to, examination of the long-term functional and patient-centered outcomes associated with:
- The specific time points in the course of patient treatment at which O&P intervention is most effective
- Different treatment algorithms to determine the most appropriate prosthetic or orthotic device
- The effect of different orthotic and/or prosthetic devices on achievement of maximal functional ability
- Development of outcomes evaluating the prevention of secondary adverse consequences of O&P device use, including but not limited to falls, skin breakdown, and loss of balance
- Improvement of current O&P materials and techniques to improve quality of life and health outcomes for patients with limb trauma or limb loss
- Development of new materials and technologies for use in O&P to improve quality of life and health outcomes for patients with limb trauma or limb loss
- Application of specific rehabilitation interventions to accelerate the time, course, or extent of functional outcomes in service members and veterans using O&P devices.
For more information, the press release can be accessed on the DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs website.