Award Date

Spring 5-14-2021

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

Advisor 1

Szu-Ping Lee, PT, Ph.D

First Committee Member

Daniel Young, Ph.D

Second Committee Member

Merrill Landers, Ph.D

Number of Pages



Purpose: Making a prosthesis for an individual with limb loss is a highly personalized process. A currently unexplored area is whether there are tangible benefits in greater patient engagement during the making of their prostheses. We examined the current practice of engaging patients in prosthetic cosmetic designing and identified factors associated with patient outcomes. Methods: This cross-sectional study surveyed 104 prosthetists and 25 prostheses users. The questionnaires covered aspects of prosthetic prescription, users’ perceived level of engagement, and self-reported outcomes. Regression analyses were used to examine the associations between perceived level of engagement, satisfaction, and other outcomes. Results: Among prosthesis users, 75% reported being offered at least one cosmetic option during the making of their prostheses which corresponded with 82.7% of the prosthetists reporting that they typically engage patients in their practices. Patients who were offered at least one cosmetic design option reported significantly greater satisfaction than those that were not offered the option (p=0.027). Patients’ level of satisfaction was significantly correlated with a perception that their prostheses empower them in daily activities (r=0.415, p=0.028). Conclusion: Engaging patients in the cosmetic designing of their prosthesis is a widely accepted practice. Prosthetic practitioners should consider the potential benefits of higher levels engagement for all patients. Clinical Relevance: Limb loss is a complex health condition that impacts patient’s physical and psychological functioning and wellbeing. Engaging patients in the prosthetic design process is a ubiquitous practice, however some prosthetists may offer higher levels of cosmetic options only to certain populations. Higher levels of engagement in the prostheses-making process support patients’ senses of autonomy and empowerment and is related to greater prosthetic compliance.


Lower limb amputation; Prosthesis; Cosmesis; Autonomy support; Survey study; Empowerment


Physical Therapy

File Format


File Size

441 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas