Priorities For Improving Myoelectric Prostheses As Defined By The Child Users And Their Parents
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Individuals with upper limb loss are talting a greater interest and a more active role in their rehabilitation and prosthetic experiences. Many now recognize that they can influence the type and scope of rehabilitation programs being provided and are searching for the most effective means of using this influence in promoting services and prostheses that address their needs. Using a survey format, The Lnstitute for Rehabilitation and Research, (TIRR) provided a unique avenue for individuals with upper limb loss to voice their opinions on many aspects of their prosthetic experience. In September, 1992, with support from the National Institutes of Health / National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (N1H/NCMRR) and in collaboration with many centers involved with amputee rehabilitation acr oss the country, TIRR received responses from over 2,400 individuals with upper limb loss The National Upper Limb Amputee Data Base was established by December, 1993, The availability of this data provided by these individuals represents an important contribution toward efforts to develop rehabilitation solutions to problems faced by people with upper limb loss For the fust time, data on a substantial number of persons with upper limb loss is available to guide efforts toward the development of technological and service programs designed to address the needs of these individuals. This paper will present the responses from a specific subset of the data base population; namely those respondents under the age of 18 who currently use a myoelectric prosthesis or who have used one in the past. General demographic and etiologic data describing this population will be presented, as well as information on the type, cost and wearing patterns of the myoelectric prosthesis used. Perhaps of most importance to the professional in the field will be the examination of those aspects currently lacking in the available technology that the users view as most important to incorporate when improving the quality and utility of a prosthetic device. User opinions about physical operties of their current myoelectric prosthesis such as weight, appearance, maintenance and battery life will also be addressed,
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