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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Incidence and rehabilitation of lower limb amputation in Canada, and feasibility of a novel training program Imam, Bita


Background: There is a dearth of evidence about lower limb amputation (LLA) incidence, rehabilitation, and practice in Canada. Such data are crucial for assessing the burden of the disability and making informed healthcare decisions. We know from the literature that the current resource-intensive rehabilitation model is costly and perhaps not sustainable. This highlights the need for exploring interventions that are less resource-intensive and, therefore, more cost-effective. Purpose: To gain an understanding about the incidence of LLA, current practices, and rehabilitation services provided in Canada and to design and evaluate a novel approach that may ultimately provide cost-effective LLA rehabilitation. Methods: Five studies were conducted. Studies 1-2) analyses of Canadian data to determine the incidence of LLA and the provision of inpatient rehabilitation services from 2006 to 2011; studies 3-4) a Canadian survey to describe prosthetic rehabilitation practices and to explore therapists’ perspectives about the use of commercial games, particularly the Nintendo Wii Fit, in rehabilitation; and study 5) a feasibility randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the use of Wii Fit intervention (named Wii.n.Walk) in LLA rehabilitation. Results: The age-adjusted incidence of LLA was 22.9 per 100,000 individuals. Although there was a decline in the incidence rates, the number of LLAs increased for older age categories. In total, 18.0% (n=2,902/16,114) of the individuals received inpatient rehabilitation in Canada over the study years. When asked about the use of commercial games, 43.9% (n=36/82) of the therapists indicated that they use the Wii Fit in rehabilitation. Our feasibility RCT showed the intervention adherence was 83.4%. No adverse events occurred. Conclusions: Although the age-adjusted incidence rates have declined, the number of LLAs has increased in individuals older than 50. Given the increase in number of LLAs and the fact that only 18% of individuals receive inpatient rehabilitation, there is a need for other service deliveries. The Wii Fit is prevalently used in prosthetic rehabilitation in Canada and was found to be feasible for LLA rehabilitation. A future powered RCT is required to provide more evidence about the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the Wii Fit in prosthetic rehabilitation.

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