National Rehabilitation Hospital

Optimising the Prescription of Prosthetic Technologies (opptec): Outcome Measures for Evidence based prosthetic Practices and Use

Dr. Pamela Gallagher

This study provided a forum for patients and service providers to voice their opinions in what they believe to be the important predictors and outcomes involved in successful rehabilitation following limb loss. To develop a consensus on the most important outcomes and factors to address for both the lower limb and upper limb prosthetic prescription process, the above data relating to lower limb and upper prosthetics were subsequently used in the next phase of the research involving two Delphi surveys of 23 and 53 experts within the lower limb and upper limb amputation and prosthetic field respectively, including users, service providers and researchers.

This is the first time consensus has been sought on the most important outcomes, predictors and factors which optimise prosthetic prescription and use. By identifying the important outcomes of prosthetic prescription to both prosthetic users and service providers, we are not only better served to inform outcome measurement, to compare and evaluate research in the field, different interventions or prosthetic components, but also to understand why and when prosthetic technology should be provided. This research is also helpful in pinpointing factors that could potentially be used as predictors of prosthetic use to optimise use after prescription.

This research was funded by the Health Research Board.

Final Report presented to the NRH Ethics Committee –  January 2010