HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Prosthesis and wheelchair use in veterans with lower-limb amputation

Article

This article explores prosthesis and wheelchair use among veterans with lower-limb amputation. In particular, the article looks at the demographic, health, functional and satisfaction factors related to their use.

Abstract

We determined the demographic, health, functional, and satisfaction factors related to lower-limb prosthesis or wheelchair use among veterans with lower-limb amputation. Forty-two veterans were recruited from the 20th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic and the 26th National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Participants were at least 18 years of age, had a lower-limb amputation, and were either prosthesis or wheelchair users. Level of amputation was the most significant health-related characteristic determining the veterans' use of a prosthesis versus a wheelchair (p = 0.02). Veterans who had a higher level of amputation and used a prosthesis reported significantly greater difficulty navigating a ramp (p = 0.03), getting in and out of cars and buses (p = 0.03), carrying 10 lb of groceries (p = 0.02), and participating in sports and leisure activities (p = 0.03). The parameter "satisfaction related to prosthesis" did not determine selection of mobility device type. The interaction of demographics, health-related characteristics, and mobility device characteristics affects functional performance and influences the use of prostheses, wheelchairs, or both in persons with lower-limb amputation. Long-term outcome assessments may help determine factors associated with either transition from one device to another or combined use of the devices over time.

Full Reference

Karmarkar, A. M., Collins, D. M., Wichman, T., Franklin, A., Fitzgerald, S. G., Dicianno, B. E., Pasquina, P. F. and Cooper, R., A., 2009. Prosthesis and wheelchair use in veterans with lower-limb amputation. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 46(5), pp. 567-576.