While practitioners around the world share many of the same concerns, researchers found some lower income countries face important and pressing issues that limit their ability to provide adequate prosthetic services.
Researchers developed and distributed an online survey to prosthetic practitioners who provide services in countries around the world and applied an open-coding thematic content analysis procedure to extract key themes from the data. Overall study results showed response codes defined three themes of lower limb prosthetic delivery, as well as key differences between higher and lower income countries. Lower income countries expressed a higher emphasis on part/material availability, practitioner training and durability. However, according to the researchers, high costs were an issue raised by practitioners in all countries.
“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,” the researchers concluded. “Additionally, the results may be used to prioritize prosthetic-related health care initiatives led by other researchers, governments and organizations working to improve services internationally.”
For more information:
Wyss D. Prosthet Orthot Int. 2013;doi:10.1177/0309364613513824.
Disclosure: The researchers had no relevant financial disclosures.