Need-Directed Design of Prostheses and Enabling Resources

  • Elaine Biddiss


In this chapter, we address questions of prosthesis acceptance, design, and supporting resources from the perspective of consumer needs. Throughout, the observations presented are largely based on the experiences of approximately 250 individuals with upper limb absence, and are supported by the literature of the past 25 years. The choice to accept or reject a prosthesis is largely dictated by personal needs and is made in such a way so as to optimize quality of life. Prosthesis design should first focus on maximizing comfort, particularly by reducing the weight and improving the thermal properties of current models. Consumers are also interested in reduced costs, enhanced sensory feedback, and life-like dexterity and appearance. Ongoing initiatives and technological development to address these consumer design priorities are discussed. Lastly, perspectives on enabling healthcare and economic resources fundamental to the prescription and availability of prostheses are outlined. Clinical strategies to promote prosthesis acceptance are identified and consumer-directed recommendations for social support structures are detailed.


Sensory Feedback Residual Limb Prosthesis Type Negative Social Behaviour Limb Absence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bloorview Research Institute Bloorview Kids Rehab, Totonto ON Canada, Institute of Biometerials and Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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