Working with partial hand prosthetics : an investigation into experiences of clinicians

Carlyle, Kirsty and Buis, Arjan and Donovan-Hall, Maggie and Day, Sarah (2024) Working with partial hand prosthetics : an investigation into experiences of clinicians. Prosthetics and Orthotics International. ISSN 0309-3646 (In Press)

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Abstract

Individuals living with partial hand absence often face challenges in performing everyday tasks and fully participating in society. Prosthetic devices offer a range of benefits, including improved functionality or cosmesis. However, partial hand devices can be rejected by users. Additionally, there is a lack of evidence that establishes methods or factors influencing the clinical prescription of prosthetics specifically designed for this population. The objectives of the investigation were to gain understanding of who is prescribing partial hand prosthetics and the factors which influence device selection. A 36-item anonymous online survey was designed on Qualtrics and distributed to clinicians. The survey contained multiple-choice, Likert-type, closed and open ended questions. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed on Qualtrics and Microsoft Excel. 37 clinicians from various occupations participated. The majority agreed outcome measures are useful in assessing partial hand prosthetics but suggested room for improvement. Although clinicians employ various outcome measurement tools, there is a lack of tools specifically tailored to this population. Factors such as existing function, occupation, and hobbies were identified as important when selecting prosthetic devices for users. Funding influenced the range of partial hand devices available for prescription. The prescription process involves multiple stakeholders. Various factors, including funding and user satisfaction must be considered in the decision making process. There is a lack of specific outcome measures recommended for evaluating prosthetics in this population. However, providing loaner units prior to final prescription yields positive outcomes.