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BACKGROUND: Effective rehabilitation after limb loss is necessary to maximize function and promote independence. Physical therapists (PT) are one of the primary drivers of the rehabilitation process. While general physical therapy knowledge and abilities have been shown to be important to the rehabilitation process, it is unclear what individuals with limb loss value in their PT’s.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to understand the elements that define an ideal PT from the perspective of individuals with limb loss.

METHODOLOGY: Mixed-method design consisting of a 20-item web-based survey and semi-structured interviews that were administered to individuals 18 years or older, who spoke English, and had a history of lower limb loss.

FINDINGS: Individuals with limb loss describe an ideal PT as promoting a therapeutic alliance, having specialized knowledge, and collaborating with a prosthetist. Knowledge of the PT as it relates to limb loss was found to be both the greatest facilitator and barrier to the rehabilitation process.

CONCLUSION: From the perspective of those with limb loss, an ideal PT promotes a strong therapeutic alliance through communication, has specialized knowledge when it comes to the limb loss rehabilitation process, and collaborates with the prosthetist to problem-solve throughout the rehabilitation process.

Publication Title

Canadian Prosthetics and Orthotics Journal






This article was published in Canadian Prosthetics and Orthotics Journal, Volume 6, Issue 1.

The published version is available at

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