Rehabilitative care for children with limb differences often includes the provision and use of a prosthesis. However, there is little research about how parents experience and respond to their child’s limb difference and prosthesis use. A study published online February 2 in Disability and Rehabilitation journal explored the experiences of parenting a child with limb difference who had been provided a prosthetic device.
The study method included semi-structured interviews with seven parents. Interview data was recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.
Four themes were identified: managing the initial emotional experience through the development of coping resources; opportunities through prosthesis use and its relationship with normality; managing and making sense of social reactions toward their child; and the intrinsic role of support: developing a collective connection and enabling shared knowledge.
The study highlighted aspects of parents’ experiences and sense-making that can inform clinical support. Emotional support, the management of social responses, and the holistic coordination of healthcare support with peer support networks were discussed. Healthcare professionals involved in the prosthetic rehabilitation process should look to explore these meanings to help support the management of the child’s prosthesis use, the study found.