Evaluating the use of a thermoplastic socket in Kenya: A pilot study
Giulia Barbareschi, Wesley Teerlink, Josepg Gakunga Njuguna, Purity Musungu, Mary Dama Kirino, and Catherine Holloway
According to estimates from the World Health Organization, in 2010, there were more than 30 million people in need of prosthetic and orthotic devices across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.1 This number is likely to have grown significantly in the past decade, in line with trends recorded for the general need of assistive technology.2 For many people who undergo a lower limb amputation, access to an appropriate prosthesis is essential to restore functional mobility and ensure good quality of life.3 Ultimately, an appropriate lower-limb prosthesis (LLP) can enable people with amputation to fulfill their desired role in their family, work, and community life.4
Many people with amputations who live in low-resourced settings struggle to access the workshops where qualified prosthetists provide appropriate care. Novel technologies such as the thermoplastic Confidence Socket are emerging, which could help facilitate easier access to prosthetic services.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the satisfaction and the performance of transtibial prosthesis featuring the Confidence Socket.
This is a longitudinal repeated-measures design study.
A convenience sample of 26 participants who underwent transtibial amputation were fitted with the Confidence Socket. The performance of the socket was evaluated after a follow-up period between 1 month and 6 months using the L test of functional mobility and the amputee mobility predictor. Satisfaction with the prosthesis was measured using the Trinity Amputation and Prosthetic Experience Scales and purposefully designed 7-point Likert scales.
Ten of the 26 participants returned for follow-up. Perceived activity restriction and L test times improved significantly at follow-up, but the self-reported satisfaction with the Confidence Socket was lower at follow-up compared with that after fitting.
The Amparo Confidence Socket represents a potentially viable alternative to improve access to appropriate prosthesis in Kenya, but some aspects of users’ self-reported satisfaction should be further investigated.
Prosthetic and Orthotics International; 2022