Wear and use of prostheses in sport by adolescents with upper limb absence : a mixed methods study

Chinn, N ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7750-5953 2019, Wear and use of prostheses in sport by adolescents with upper limb absence : a mixed methods study , MSc by research thesis, University of Salford.

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Despite clear physical and psychosocial benefits, disabled people are half as likely to participate in sport as able-bodied peers. Active adolescents typically become active adults, making early engagement in sport important. For those with upper limb absence, sport participation levels are poorly understood, with limited literature on prosthesis provision, usage or impact. Activity monitors facilitate objective data collection on arm use during sport activity, but have yet to be used to explore this.
The objectives of this feasibility study are to:
• Capture objective prosthesis wear and usage patterns from physically active upper limb absent (ULA) adolescents;
• Develop understanding of how this usage relates to sports participation; and to
• Gather sports participation data and capture participants’ views on sport, prostheses and reasons for use / non-use in sport.
Three active adolescents with unilateral upper limb absence were recruited alongside four comparable anatomically intact (AI) adolescents. Bilaterally wrist-worn activity monitors and activity diaries were used for data collection over 2-weeks. The ULA participants also undertook semi-structured interviews.
Prostheses were worn between 16.2% and 56.5% of the time during sport. Reliance on the anatomical arm during prosthesis wear was 72% overall but 68% during sports. Contrastingly, AI adolescents showed similar reliance on both arms (51% reliance on dominant overall, 50% during sport). Thematically analysed interviews identified three organising themes, participants’ attitudes to: sport; prosthesis use during sport and everyday prosthesis use. The global theme identified was that, “the ability to participate in sport has a powerful influence on participants’ lives. Despite minimal prosthesis wear during sport, prostheses were used when participants felt they offered specific benefits.”
Overall data suggest minimal use of prostheses during sport, with devices used only when participants believed it functionally benefited participation. With prosthesis wear, patterns of activity were still skewed towards the anatomical side. These findings raise questions over functionality and usability of current prostheses for sports. Larger studies using similar methods are therefore warranted.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc by research)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Natalie Chinn
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2019 10:57
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:30
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/52956

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