Global challenges exist in the delivery of prosthetic services to individuals with lower-limb amputations. A cross-sectional survey was conducted by a group of researchers in Canada to explore and compare issues related to the provision of appropriate prosthetic technologies across world economies. The study was published in the April issue of Prosthetics and Orthotics International.
An online survey was developed and distributed to prosthetic practitioners who provide services in countries around the world. An open-coding thematic content analysis procedure was applied to extract key themes from the data. The response codes defined three overall themes of lower-limb prosthetic delivery, and several key differences between higher and lower income countries emerged. Namely, a higher emphasis on part/material availability, practitioner training, and durability in lower income countries was found. High costs were an issue raised by practitioners in all countries.
The researchers said that this work highlights the most crucial service and technology-related needs, as perceived by trained prosthetic practitioners, of populations requiring lower-limb prosthetic treatment around the world. Additionally, the results may be used to prioritize prosthetic-related healthcare initiatives led by other researchers, governments, and organizations working to improve services internationally.