The social determinants of health and individuals with upper limb loss
University of New Brunswick
Limb loss is a physically and psychologically life-changing event. Amputation and prosthetics use does not only affect an individual’s physical abilities, it also signifies life-long social, psychological, economic and environmental change (Peirano & Franz, 2012). Therefore, this retrospective study aims to identify differences among individuals with upper limb loss within the social determinants of health. Following Andersen’s Model for Health Care Utilization, this study employs descriptive analyses to examine data on the social determinants of health for 229 clients from the Atlantic Clinic for Upper Limb Prosthetics. Additionally, this study identifies differences between active clients and inactive clients who were lost to follow-up in prosthetic care. Gender, biology and genetics, healthy child development, physical environments, income and social status, and health services are found to be related to differences among clients of the clinic. Moreover, active clients and those lost to follow-up in prosthetic care show differences based on biology and genetics, healthy child development, physical environments and health services. Further understanding of individual characteristics and the social determinants of health could aid in optimizing clinical practices, guiding interdisciplinary care approaches and preventing clients from abandoning prosthetic care or from being lost to follow-up.