Unilateral upper-limb loss: Satisfaction and prosthetic-device use in veterans and servicemembers from Vietnam and OIF/OEF conflicts

Lynne V. Mcfarland, Sandra L.Hubbard Winkler, Allen W. Heinemann, Melissa Jones, Alberto Esquenazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prosthetic use and satisfaction in wounded servicemembers and veterans with unilateral upper-limb loss has not been thoroughly explored. Through a national survey, we enrolled 47 participants from the Vietnam conflict and 50 from Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) with combat-associated major unilateral upper-limb loss. Upper-limb prosthetic devices were used by 70% of the Vietnam group and 76% of the OIF/OEF group. Mechanical/body-powered upper-limb devices were favored by the Vietnam group, while a combination of myoelectric/hybrid and mechanical/body-powered devices were favored by the OIF/OEF group. Upper-limb devices were completely abandoned in 30% of the Vietnam and 22% of the OIF/OEF groups. Abandonment was more frequent for transhumeral and more proximal levels (42% of Vietnam and 40% of OIF/OEF) than more distal limb-loss levels. Upper-limb prostheses were rejected because of dissatisfaction with the device by significantly fewer (23%) members of the Vietnam group than the OIF/OEF group (45%) (p < 0.001). Most common reasons for rejection included pain, poor comfort, and lack of functionality. A significant paradigm shift has been noted in the OIF/OEF group, who use a greater number and diversity of upper-limb prostheses than the Vietnam group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-316
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of rehabilitation research and development
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Abandonment
  • Activity measure
  • Limb loss
  • OIF/OEF
  • Prosthetic device
  • Rehabilitation
  • Satisfaction
  • Upper-limb loss
  • Veterans
  • Vietnam conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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