The lived experience of people who require prostheses or orthoses in the Kingdom of Cambodia: A qualitative study

Nerrolyn Ramstrand , Alan Maddock, Malin Johnsson, Lisa Felixion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:
There is an assumption that provision of assistive technologies, such as prostheses and orthoses, will improve the life situation of people with disabilities; however, this issue has been poorly addressed in low- and middle-income country settings.

Objective:
The objective of this qualitative study was to explore the life experience of people who use lower-limb prosthetic or orthotic devices in Cambodia, with a view to identifying areas in which developments can be made to improve the life experiences for prosthesis and orthosis users.

Methods:
Participants were recruited from 1/ urban and 2/ rural prosthetic and orthotic clinics, run by the same non-governmental organisation. Individual interviews were conducted in 2019 with 15 users of prosthetic or orthotic devices. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using a thematic analysis approach.

Results:
Three themes were identified: 1) A more positive outlook with an assistive device; 2) assistive devices reduce barriers but do not eliminate them and 3) disability creates social exclusion while assistive devices facilitate inclusion. For participants in this study, life without a prosthesis or orthosis was characterised by financial insecurity and a sense of hopelessness. After receiving an assistive device, participants experienced a greater sense of self-worth and empowerment as well as improved functional performance and social interactions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Early online date06 Feb 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 06 Feb 2021

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