My clinical experience is mainly in upper limb prosthetics and at the University of Jordan I train orthotic and prosthetic students on how to fabricate prostheses for all upper limb amputation levels. However, I have been always sceptical about the functional benefit of current devices, so the exciting early work in this project offers an excellent opportunity to find out whether Jordanian amputees actually make use of their prescribed prostheses in everyday life and to understand the amputee’s perspectives of “a usable prosthesis”. We are working on these problems with the UCL, University of Southampton, University of Salford and Makerere University. The work is also prompting me to reflect on the potential to exploit this work in my teaching. As the head of Orthotics and Prosthetics department, I think this project has also a great potential to help us improving the quality orthotics and prosthetic education in Jordan which ultimately directly affects the quality of prosthetic rehabilitation provided! In addition to acquiring skills required to fabricate traditional devices, we would like our students to think of creative solutions to match the user’s needs and continuously and critically assess their devices in order to improve their practice. This of course requires from us to provide the students with knowledge and skills on how to measure the benefit of P&O devices.
As a start, Nidaa (research assistant) and I ran a workshop last month on activity monitoring in Orthotics and Prosthetics for 3rd and 4th year students in the department. Students were excited to learn how we can apply advanced measurement techniques, such as accelerometry, to clinical practice. It was the first time they were able to measure their own movement and see how we could make use of the data to describe the activity performed. It was interesting to see how some students began to suggest potential applications for accelerometry in the field orthotics and prosthetics! Ultimately, we are working towards implementing this topic in the curriculum. We are also planning a series of workshops on activity monitoring in 2020, targeting other members of rehabilitation teams including physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Please keep in touch if you would be interested in finding out when and where these workshops will be held (email Nidaa and ask to be put on our email list).