Swimming with upper and lower limb absence : a systematic review

Deans, Sarah and Dyer, Bryce (2015) Swimming with upper and lower limb absence : a systematic review. In: International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics World Congress 2015, 2015-06-22 - 2015-06-26.

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Swimming with limb absence is currently undertaken as a source of leisure or rehabilitation activity and is also part of the current Paralympic Games competition programme. Whilst it is often proposed that research into sport with limb absence can be extremely limited, this study intended to identify the volume, type and historical strategy in this area.  To understand the evolution in the use of prostheses for swimming and developments in their design and function. This review establishes the historical strategy of swimming with limb absence and identifies existing research themes. It summarises the current knowledge base helping to signpost and progress future work for the benefit of those living with limb absence. This is a documented systematic review of swimming with lower or upper limb absence. A four step search protocol was adopted. Stage one involved a search of bibliographic databases. These comprised the Sportdiscus, CINAHL, Scopus, PsycINFO and Medline bibliographic databases. Stage two involved the removal of any duplicate results. Stage three involved checking the successful papers references for any not already identified in stage one. Finally, stage four used Google Scholar to source any results not identified previously.ResultsThe review identified 22 papers which met pre-defined inclusion criteria. The identified peer reviewed publications dating from 1983 until 2014.  Clear themes emerged from the historical research interest in this area. There was a paucity of peer-reviewed literature with respect to swimming with limb absence and the design of adaptive or assistive technology to help facilitate it. The initial trend of publication indicates an interest in the design of prosthetic technology, with the emphasis then shifting to an interest in swimming biomechanics from 2006.References Gailey R, Harsch P. Introduction to triathlon for the lower limb amputee triathlete. Prosthetics and Orthotics International 2009: 33;242-255.Hanspal R, Nieveen R. Water activity limbs. Prosthetics and Orthotics International 2002: 26; 218-225.Osborough C, Payton C, Daly D. Influence of swimming speed on inter-arm coordination in competitive unilateral arm amputee front crawl swimmers. Human Movement Science 2010: 29; 921-931.