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Therapeutic Patient Education Leads to Fewer Complications, Better QoL With Prosthesis Use

Therapeutic patient education (TPE) is a continuous process for chronic disease that enables patients to improve and acquire self-care and self-management skills. A study was conducted to evaluate prosthetic and limb management and prosthesis use and determine the place of self-care in patients following lower-limb amputation. The researchers concluded that TPE, adapted to the cognitive and functional capacities, led to fewer complications and to a higher autonomy and quality of life.

The study cohort initially included 135 people with transtibial amputations who were fitted with contact silicone socket prostheses with distal locks between May 2011 and December 2013. Most of the amputations were the result of vascular disease or diabetes-related complications. The research team assessed the patient’s limb management, compression and level of experience in wearing his or her prosthesis. TPE was carried out with 95 patients.

The researchers found that the prostheses were donned daily by 95 participants and that 52 patients wore their prostheses more than 12 hours per day. Only ten patients suffered skin abrasions, leading the researchers to conclude that self-management of complications was achieved. The patients improved their own knowledge on several issues: autonomy of prosthesis donning (78 patients), proper use of a prosthetic sock (70 patients), and assess proper fitting (80 patients). Ninety-three patients walked inside with their prostheses, 74 patients walked outside, and 34 patients walked on any surface.

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