A study comparing rates of out-of-pocket prosthesis-related payments for veterans and non-veterans with upper-limb amputations found that out-of-pocket costs were paid by 20 percent of those sampled, and veterans were less likely to have out-of-pocket expenses than nonveterans. Prosthesis affordability was a common reason among all respondents for never using or abandoning their prostheses.
The data was collected through a telephone survey of 727 people with upper-limb amputations. Veterans made up 76 percent of the participants; 24 percent were nonveterans.
Fourteen percent of all respondents who had never used a prosthesis said affordability was a reason for nonuse. Affordability of repairs or replacement was a reason for prosthesis abandonment for 9.6 percent and 16.5 percent of former prosthesis users, respectively.
The researchers also developed and tested a prosthesis affordability scale for the study and concluded it was reliable and valid.
The study, “Out-of-pocket costs and affordability of upper limb prostheses,” was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.