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Unlimbited Wellness

Telehealth for Adults with Upper-Limb Difference

Latour, Debra, OTD, MEd, OTR/L

JPO: Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics: March 9, 2019 - Volume Online First - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/JPO.0000000000000263
Original Research Article: PDF Only

Introduction Individuals with upper-limb loss/difference often require specialized services, including occupational therapy that may be difficult to access. Also, individuals are likely to encounter secondary conditions that include pain, overuse, perceptions of isolation, and social stigma. The program was developed to meet the needs vocalized by the target population, to offer a pathway using telehealth (TH) to access peers, and to become better informed about strategies that would help to prevent physical overuse and social isolation and facilitate improved self-advocacy skills with medical practitioners.

Methods Unlimbited Wellness is based on results of a needs assessment that specifically focused on the challenges experienced by this population. Participants of the Unlimbited Wellness program interacted with peers via a TH model to learn about physical and psychosocial health conditions that may cause them disparity and to share strategies to prevent or manage them.

Results Effectiveness of the program was assessed via a survey of participant TH experiences and changes in perceptions of pain, ability, and quality of life as measured by the McGann Client Feedback Form and the Pizzi Health and Wellness Assessment. Overall, participant post-group perceptions of health, well-being, and prosthetic satisfaction improved as compared with pre-group experiences. During the 1:1 interviews, all participants stated they felt empowered due to their engagement in peer discussions and collaborative exercises during the Unlimbited Wellness program.

Conclusions The program results indicate that a TH service delivery can be beneficial to enact health behavior change and empower individuals with upper-limb difference.

DEBRA LATOUR, OTD, MEd, OTR/L, is affiliated with Western New England University, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Disclosure: The author declares no conflict of interest.

Correspondence to: Debra Latour, OTD, Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Rd, Springfield, MA 01119; email:

© 2019 by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.