Improving shared decision-making for prosthetic care: A qualitative needs assessment of prosthetists and new lower-limb prosthesis users

Chelsey B. Anderson, Stefania Fatone, Mark M. Mañago, Laura A. Swink, Emily R. Hager, Andrew J. Kittelson, Cory L. Christiansen, Dawn M. Magnusson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Prosthesis design is complex and multiple appropriate options exist for any individual with lower-limb amputation. However, there is insufficient evidence for guiding decision-making. Shared decision-making (SDM) offers an opportunity to incorporate patient-specific values and preferences where evidence is lacking for prosthesis design decisions. To develop resources to facilitate SDM, and consistent with the International Patient Decision Aid Standards, it is necessary to identify the decisional needs of prosthetists and prosthesis users for prosthesis design decisions. Objectives: To assess the needs of prosthetists and new prosthesis users for SDM about the first prosthesis design. Study design: Qualitative descriptive design. Methods: Six focus groups were conducted with 38 prosthetists. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted with 17 new prosthesis users. Transcripts were analyzed using directed content analysis, with codes defined a priori using existing frameworks for SDM: the Three Talk Model for SDM and the Ottawa Decision Support Framework. Results: Four main themes were identified among prosthetists and prosthesis users: acknowledging complexity in communication, clarifying values, recognizing the role of experience to inform preferences, and understanding the prosthetic journey. Conclusions: Resources that support SDM for the first prosthesis design should consider methods for identifying individual communication needs, support with clarifying values, and resources such as experience for achieving informed preferences, within the context of the overall course of rehabilitation and recovery following lower-limb amputation. The themes identified in this work can inform SDM to promote collaborative discussion between prosthetists and new prosthesis users when making prosthesis design decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-42
Number of pages17
JournalProsthetics and orthotics international
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • amputation
  • decision support techniques
  • lower-limb amputation
  • physical and rehabilitation medicine
  • prostheses
  • prosthesis design
  • prosthesis fitting
  • qualitative research
  • rehabilitation
  • shared decision-making
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Humans
  • Patient Participation
  • Focus Groups
  • Artificial Limbs
  • Needs Assessment


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