New group created to expand resources for treatment of upper limb difference

HOUSTON — A new platform, presented at the Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics Annual Meeting, could provide an international, easy-to-use, evidence-based resource consortium for sharing data on the treatment of upper limb absence.

“The aim is to determine best clinical practice and to provide resources for those engaged in upper limb loss or limb difference,” Sandra Ramdial, CP(c), FCBC, of the handsmart group, said. “To exceed expectations and to obtain the best outcomes in a coordinated clinical care continuum, clinicians need to have foundational skills and knowledge.”

According to Ramdial and Debra Latour, MEd, OTR/L, also of the handsmart group, Ottobock initiated a meeting in Berlin, Germany, in February 2016, in which 12 international experts — 11 therapists and one prosthetist — participated. The clinicians were independent practitioners or working with a company and specialized in upper limb loss or limb difference rehabilitation in a clinical or research setting. An independent moderator facilitated discussions, and decisions surrounding treatments of limb absence were made based on voting and consensus agreements.

According to the findings, the group agreed that a holistic rehabilitation approach for individuals with upper limb difference is the most appropriate form of care. Based on that agreement, the handsmart group was formed with “the mission to support and empower clinicians and patients worldwide by creating and updating an open access, easily understandable resource based on evidence for those engaged in upper limb loss [or limb] difference rehabilitation,” Latour said.

She said the nonprofit consortium was formed to create an online platform for networking, sharing information and accessing resources; search and apply for financial support for the future activities in the group; and to search, compile and recommend interventions for different rehabilitation phases in adults and children with upper limb absence.

“Some clinicians have difficulty accessing information or relevant findings in upper limb loss or limb difference rehabilitation,” Ramdial said. “They usually receive their knowledge from peers, by trial and error or reading materials. Hopefully, this consortium will improve the quality of upper limb rehabilitation. We invite external parties involved in upper limb loss or limb difference rehabilitation to collaborate and support the group. This may enable successful work in the promotion of our mission and vision.” – by Shawn M. Carter


Ramdial S, et al. Forming an international consortium for sharing resources of upper limb absence. Presented at: Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics Annual Meeting; March 22-25, 2017; Houston.

: Latour and Ramdial report no relevant financial disclosures.


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