Researchers at the Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island; the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University; and Brown University have published a study to describe and compare satisfaction by prosthesis and terminal device type and to identify factors associated with satisfaction among 449 participants in a national sample. The study concluded that satisfaction was associated with receiving training to use the prosthesis, amputation level, age, and race.

Participants in the cross-sectional survey were military veterans who had unilateral upper-limb amputations and used a prosthesis. They described their prostheses, prosthetic training, device repairs, visits to a prosthetist, and rated device satisfaction using two standardized measures, the Trinity Amputation and Prosthetic Experience Satisfaction Scale and OPUS Client Satisfaction with Devices scale. Multivariate generalized linear regression models examined the relationship between prosthesis and terminal device type and satisfaction, controlling for covariates that were meaningful in bivariate analyses, according to the study.

The analysis revealed no differences in satisfaction by prosthesis type or terminal device degrees of freedom.

Worse satisfaction was associated with more proximal amputation level, younger age, and black race. The association between receipt of initial prosthetic training and device satisfaction points to the critical role of occupational or physical therapy in the early stages of prosthetic care, the authors concluded.

The study was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.